COLOMBO (News 1st); Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa presented the Budget for the year 2022 in Parliament today. Here are the proposals made by the Finance Minister, until parliament was adjourned for several minutes.
The budget will graduate the culture of the country into a more savings model. People will be encouraged to save & plan for the future.
Restructuring policies of the Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation to further benefit the people with a special focus on Life Assurance & Land related Insurance products.
Islandwide fiber optics connectivity will be a priority for the government as confirmed. Telecommunication Regulatory Commission to expedite the process of establishing Island-wide telecommunication coverage and provide Fiber Optic High-Speed Internet to over 10,000 Schools in the country
Further, all media frequencies can be obtained by service providers at an open auction to avoid future discrepancies.
A new government bill will be tabled to validate equal rights for special needs citizens. This will further enshrine the concept of procuring equal opportunities for those with special needs bringing greater equality to the country.
The budget will strengthen local private pharma companies to enhance local production of drugs to international standards. The private sector will be encouraged to invest in this venture with every government facilitation made available to those who do.
A commission will be set up to regulate over 700k three-wheelers in Sri Lanka.
The culture of the nation will be shifted more towards entrepreneurship over job seekers. To encourage this, the registration fee for startup companies will be removed.
Increase the productive capacity of Sri Lanka to enhance the nation’s food security.
The construction of new office space for state use will be suspended for 02 years in order to enhance government savings.
Sri Lanka will concentrate development of renewable energy sources & encourage investment in the area. To reduce the dependence on fossil fuels as the country strives to reduce its carbon footprint in accordance with the US Sustainable Development Goals.
Steps will be taken to modernize the agriculture industry to keep abreast with international standards. Monies will be allocated for this exercise within the country.
– Telecommunications benefit allocations will be reduced by 25%.
– Fuel allowances will be reduced by 5 liters. – The pensionable age in Sri Lanka is proposed to be enhanced to 65. – Qualification for a pension for MP’s now enhanced to 2 terms.
The fisheries industry which has been performing very well & the batiks/handlooms will be concentrated on for exports.
Rs. 4 billion allocated to each electorate for development within the locale.
A Special Commodity Tax: The Special Commodity Tax proposed by the 2021 Budget, will apply to goods and services from 2022 January
Samurdhi Banks will be restructured and will be converted to a One-Stop-Shop
To do away with inequality in the quality of the Education and Health sectors at the District Level, concessions will be provided for the establishment of modernized schools and hospitals for each district.
The Green Bond Financing concept to be proposed for interested international parties to address climate change
Social Security Program for Senior Citizens will be introduced. Those who do not draw a pension will be included in this program. The government will contribute Rs. 100 million as capital to this fund.
Price Mechanism to be introduced to maintain the prices of medicines in the country, by implementing the recommendations of the committee appointed for this purpose.
Finance Minister proposed for the local production of equipment necessary for renewable energy devices
In a bid to protect the agriculture sector, a Green Agriculture Development Bill will be drafted
Gem and Jewellery: Sri Lanka to be converted as a hub for gem trade
Rs. 4000 million to be allocated to remove weeds, accordingly Rs. 5000 will be provided for a hectare for the removal of weeds
Under the government’s Organic Agriculture Policy, another Rs. 5000 billion will be allocated in addition to the already allocated amount in the Appropriation Bill to promote Organic Agriculture
An additional Rs. 15,000 billion to be allocated to ensure that everyone has access to clean drinking water; already Rs. 33,963 million has been allocated in this regard
For the development of renewable energy, both local and foreign investments are required; Rs. 500 million will be allocated to develop the renewable energy sector
For the development of urban housing projects Rs. 2000 million will be allocated, while Rs. 5000 million will be allocated for the development of rural housing
To develop housing for the Estate sector, Rs. 500 million will be allocated for the development of houses for people living in Line-Houses; line-Houses will be removed.
Rs. 85,000 million will be allocated for rural community development under the GAMA SAMAGA PILISANDARAK program: this is the largest sum of money allocated from a budget for rural development
Rs. 03 million for every Grama Niladhari Division (there are 14,021 GN divisions in the country) under the GAMA SAMAGA PILISANDARAK program; Accordingly, a total of Rs. 42,053 million will be allocated for this purpose.
For the development work of each locality, under the De-Centralized Fund for MPs, each MP will be awarded another Rs. 05 million irrespective of the party
Another Rs. 04 billion will be allocated for every electorate in the country
Micro & Small Businesses sector needs relief and another Rs. 05 billion will be allocated to support them.
Rs. 700 million will be allocated to provide relief for Three-wheeler drivers
Relief will be awarded to school transport service drivers and Rs. 400 million allocated for this purpose.
Rs. 1500 million allocated to provide relief for Private Bus Owners