Colombo, March 5 (newsin.asia) – Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister, Mangala Samaraweera, on Tuesday presented the government’s budget proposals for 2019 which aims to provide relief to the poor and invest more on the island’s social infra structure.
Reading his budget proposal titled “Enterprise Sri Lanka – Empowering the People and Nurturing the Poor”, in Parliament, Samaraweera said the government aimed to create a strong nation by extending a helping hand to all its citizens, while protecting and nurturing the poor and the weak, with a strong well targeted social safety net.
He said the government had launched the ambitious ‘Enterprise Sri Lanka’ scheme through which private companies and small and media enterprises would be given the opportunity to grow to compete in the larger market and local well established companies to compete in the global market.
Samaraweera, said through the budget, Sri Lanka will also aim to strengthen its import and export market, and with the successful completion of the Singapore Free Trade Agreement, the government will also review progress in on-going FTA negotiations with India, China and Thailand.
Whilst Sri Lanka achieved its best ever FDI in 2017 and 2018, Samaraweera said it is essential to further expand investment into the country.
Therefore, an incentive package to attract high value investments was proposed in the budget which includes significant capital allowances of up to 150 percent of investment value and removal of up front taxes for investments over 50 million US dollars, 100 million US dollars and 1,000 million US dollars.
The budget also provided incentives towards farmers to strengthen the agricultural sector, laid down flexible working hours for women in order to boost women participation in the work force and strengthen the sanitation facilities through the country which includes providing over 200,000 families with a toilet by the end of the year.
The budget also listed a monthly allowance of Rs. 5000 for disabled people while more disabled people will be encouraged to enter the work force as well.
(The featured image above shows Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister, Mangala Samaraweera)