All segments of society will receive reliefs in the form of salary increases, tax concessions, price reduction of consumer items, interest hike for savings, pension benefits and diverse subsidies and concessions.
Presenting the Budget for 2015 in his capacity as Finance Minister, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said the country is rapidly advancing towards its desired objectives as a economic foundation has been laid during the last 10 years. This is the 68th budget of Sri Lanka since Independence and 10th budget presented by the President.
President said the government expects to reduce the budget deficit to 3.85% by 2016 and 3.2% by 2017.
Addressing Parliament this afternoon, he announced that public servants will get a minimum monthly income of Rs 25,000. While the minimum salary has been increased to Rs 15,000, with absorption of other allowances the minimum monthly income would be increased to Rs 25,000.
President said that in view of the steady growth in the economy the private sector employees should be paid a minimum monthly salary of Rs 10,000. Those earning more would have an additional Rs 500 per month.
The employer contribution to the EPF (Provident Fund) will be raised to 14% of the employee’s salary making the overall EPF saving from both employer and employee to 22%.
Similar increments will be given to university lecturers, doctors and those in State Legal sector. Public servants in Class 1 will be given a Rs 15,000 professional fee monthly.
Sri Lanka will aim to increase its Per Capita income to 7500 USD by 2020 reaching high middle income status, President Rajapaksa informed parliament.
The budget has a series of proposals to help uplift the socio-economic conditions of the people and the development of the country. Emphasizing the importance of promoting education, health, and eradicating poverty, he said local government and provincial councils will be strengthened to achieve these goals.
The price of locally manufactured milk food has been reduced by Rs 100 per kilogram. Infant milk food will be available at a concessionary rate at Sathosa outlets.
President also announced that several expressways will be completed by 2017 including Ruwanpura highway, Kandy Highway and Jaffna Highway..
- Rs:2500 monthly allowance for Pre-school teachers
- Pension scheme to be introduced for the Apparel sector employees.
- Every citizen to be provided with facilities for medical checkup
- Compensation for crop damaged by wild elephants
- VAT to be reduced to 11% - PAYE Tax limited to 16%
- Charges of the first 25 units of household water supply to be reduced by 10%
- Rs. 3000 monthly allowance for differently-abled persons and Rs. 750 to be paid monthly as transportation allowances for differently-abled children
- Dual citizenship to Sri Lankans living abroad and a 5-year working visa
- Sri Lankan expatriates to be granted the facility to import a vehicle worth 60% of the total annual foreign revenue they bring into the country, inclusive of tax
- A special pension scheme to be introduced for migrant workers
- Samurdhi allowance to be increased - Rs. 3000 monthly for a family with four or more/ Rs. 2000 monthly for a three-member family/ Rs. 1000 for families with less than three members
- Mahapola scholarship stipend to be increased up to Rs. 4000 by 2015
- 50,000 scholarships to be given to students from low income families unable to enter universities/ every student to be given Rs. 3000 monthly allowance
- Rs.3000 monthly allowance to be provided to those afflicted with Kidney disease
- A special Tax Scheme for motor vehicle imports