Budget 2018 highlights

Budget 2018 highlights

-Rs. 25 million allocated to establish a Virtual Blue-Green institute.

-The government will bear 50% of the cost of Multi Day trawlers longer than 55ft to encourage deep sea fishing.

- The Meteorology Department will be modernised.

-New insurance will be introduced for six crops including paddy; Rs. 40,000 per acre.

- Rs. 500 million allocated to offer loans under ‘Entrepreneurs Sri Lanka’ programme.

-Strong anti-dumping and countervailing laws to support local industries.

- Government will remove upto 1800 para tariffs in 2018.

- Loans for SME industries, without guarantors.

- Rs. 10,000 million allocated to establish a EXIM bank specially to provide long term loans to small and medium enterprises.

- Rs 800 million for Export Market Access Programme to be introduced for companies with less than 10 Million dollars in earnings and for potential new entrants to the export market.

-Restrictions on foreign ownership of shipping and freight forwarding agencies will be lifted

- Rs 250 million will be allocated to support tea smallholders

-All tourism service providers to register with the Sri Lanka Tourism Board to bring the informal sector under the broader tax net.

-VAT refund scheme for foreign passport holders at airports and seaports from May 1, 2018.

-New Production Tax to discourage polythene and plastic production

-Rs 3 billion to accelerate Aruwakkalu waste management programme.

-Registrar of Companies Department to implement one stop shop for company registration.

- Three Wheeler Regulatory Authority to be established under Transport Ministry.Tourist Board Approved Tuk Tuks and a programme to train tuk drivers as tourist guides.

-Meters will be made compulsory for three wheelers.

-Restrictions that limit land ownership rights of listed companies with foreign owners to be removed.

-High-end technical colleges will be established with the assistance of Germany and Switzerland

-Subjects such as genetics, robotics and nano technology to be introduced to school curriculum to prepare students for jobs of the future.

- Rs 1.25 billion allocated to establish Medical Faculties and develop medical education at Wayamba, Sabaragamuwa and Moratuwa Universities.

-Monthly payment of Rs. 3,500 to students in National Colleges of Education (VidyaPeeta) will be increased to Rs. 5,000.

-Rs 750 mn allocated to empower smart classrooms project.

-Mahapola Scholarships for another 3,000 students

-A new Health insurance scheme to be introduced for University Students

-Rs 5000 billion to expand IT and engineering.

-Single window for New Business Registrations proposed.

-NBT Tax to be imposed on liquor from April 1, 2018.

-A production tax of 50 cent per gram of sugar will be imposed on sweetened beverages from midnight yesterday.

-Rs. 325 billion has been allocated for country’s youth.

- Three kidney treatment centers will be established in Polonnaruwa, Anuradhapura and Jaffna.

- Rs. 2,000 million allocated to construct 25,000 housing units for those in line houses

- Rs 3000 million allocated to build houses to resettle those affected in the conflict.

- Rs. 500 million allocated to establish University on Policing and Criminology.

-Pre-paid electronic card system to SLTB and private buses.

-Govt. will divest holdings in non-strategic interests.

-Rs 25 million allocated for Special Court to be established to prevent delays and address large backlog of financial and organised crime cases in the judicial system.

-Rs. 10,000 million allocated to provide infrastructure facilities to construct expressways.

-Rs. 17,000 million allocated to develop Kandy, Anuradhapura,Galle and Jaffna.

-A common system to pay salaries of public servants.

-State Sector to be digitised to increase productivity.

-An emergency and health insurance cover to be introduced for all artistes.

- Retirees after 2016 will get ‘Agrahara’ cover throughout their life time and Rs 50 m allocated.

-Rs 1 billion to provide grants and low interest loan schemes to those trapped in debt in North and East.

-0.2% tax on bank transactions to be utilised to repay debt.

-25 cent levy on SMS advertising.

-Licences to be issued to import cigarette.

-Temporary tax of 20 cents per 1,000 rupees will be imposed from April 1, 2018 on all banking transactions as a loan repayment tax for the next three years.

(Daily News)

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