Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sri Lanka proposes investment friendly budget

Sri Lanka’s delayed budget for the year 2010 presented in the Parliament today aims to cut the fiscal deficit and provide incentives for investments while targeting a double digit growth in the future.

Deputy Finance Minister Mr. Sarath Amunugama who was sworn in as the Acting Minister of Finance hours before presenting the budget proposals said that the country seeks faster growth after the end of three decade old war mainly in the tourism sector.

This year’s budget has been delayed by about seven months as presidential and parliamentary elections were called after the government defeated the separatist Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam Main features of the budget proposals are:

• Budget deficit will be reduced to 8% of GDB by next year with a final target of bringing down the deficit gap to 5% of the GDP while reducing debt limit to 70 % of the GDP from the current 80% by 2012.

• Completing the resettlement of remaining 25000 IDP by the end of the year and to provide livelihood facilities with other required infrastructure

• 40,000 hectares of Fallow paddy lands will be cultivated in the North.

• Northern infrastructure including the A-9 and A-32 highways will be developed at a cost of Rs2 billion US dollars

• Revenue from Tourism will be increased to US D 2.8 billion by 2016 with 2.5 million tourist arrivals. Five fold and 9 fold increases targeted in the tourist arrival and the revenue respectively.

• US D 3 billion investment is expected in the tourism development with FDI/private sector and the govt investments

• Seven tourism Zones have been identified for the development of tourism sector.

• Vision of the govt. is to increase the GDP growth to two digits from expected 8 percent growth next year.

• Tax reforms will be introduced as per the recommendation of the Tax Commission.

• Regulatory Framework will be introduced to regularize the Private universities as the Government recognizes the role played by them.

• Public sector salaries will be increased from 2011

• A pension Fund will be created

• Social Security process will be strengthened

© News.lk

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