The new government, in its budget, slashed the prices of 13 essential items, domestic gas, kerosene oil while announcing a host of relief measures for the general public including a monthly pay hike of Rs. 5000 for public servants effective from next month and a Rs.1000 increase on pensions from April.
Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake made his budget speech outlining the proposals to be implemented during the 100-day programme of the new government.
Accordingly, he said though the government promised to bring down the prices of ten essential food items, it decided to revise taxes on 13 such items. Sugar prices will drop by Rs.10 - 18 a kilogramme with this decision. Milk powder prices will be reduced by Rs. 61 a 400 gramme packet. Besides, Sustagen, a nourishing food item prescribed for terminally ill patients, will be reduced by Rs.100 a can.
The government has proposed to cut down the import tax on wheat grain by Rs. 10 a kilo. It will result in the drop of retail wheat flour price by Rs. 12.50 a kilogramme. Along with it, bread prices will be brought down by Rs.6 a loaf.
The new tax revision will result in the drop of green gram prices by Rs. 40 a kilogramme in the retail market and the canned fish price by Rs.60 a kilogramme. The government has revised the import tax on sprats by Rs. 11 a kilogramme and coriander by Rs. 26. Kilogramme.
The market price of Black Gram will be reduced by Rs. 50 a kilogramme.
The tax on Maldive fish will also dropped by Rs. 200 a kilogramme. Also, the tax on Turmeric will be reduced by Rs.100 a kilogramme and the tax on crushed Chilies by Rs.25.
The government also announced that the price of a 12.5 kilogramme LP gas cylinder would be reduced by Rs.300. Accordingly the new market price of a domestic gas would be Rs.1,596. In a bid to cushion the cost of living of the people particularly in the estate and fisheries sectors, the government decided to bring down the prices of kerosene oil by six more rupees. Earlier, the government slashed fuel prices.
The government, in its election manifesto promised a pay hike of Rs. 10,000 for public servants. In a step to implement this pledge, Mr. Karunanayake said Rs. 5000 would be added to the monthly salaries of public servants starting from next month, and the remaining Rs.5000 from June this year. Also, he requested the private sector to increase salaries of its employees at least by Rs. 2500.
The monthly Samurdhi allowance will be increased by 200 per cent. He said a comprehensive survey would be carried out to identify the desired beneficiaries. Expectant mothers were promised an allowance of Rs. 20, 000 during the 100 day programme.
The Finance Minister assured a stable price of Rs. 50 for a kilogramme of paddy and Rs. 80 for a kilo of potatoes. However paddy will be graded according to the quality and moisture content. He guaranteed Rs. 80 for a kilogramme of tea and Rs. 350 for rubber. For fair farmers, he guaranteed Rs.70 on a litre of milk, an increase by Rs. 10.
Taxes on vehicles lesser than 1000cc were reduced by 15 per cent to allow families with a lesser income to own a vehicle. Taxes on cement were reduced by 7.5 percent. (Kelum Bandara and Yohan Perera)
Hubert SilvaBpulle Friday, 30 January 2015 07:36
Congratulations. The ordinary mass the poor will definitely be grateful to the new Government. Please see that traders will also reduce the prices of items such fish, vegetable, and any other involved in transport etc. If they still keep the same prices as before strict action must be taken to punish them. Keep up the good work and can be in power for ever. Thanks .Ben
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Faiz Friday, 30 January 2015 20:43
Price hike of vegetables is a seasonal crisis ... Govt can hardly provide any solution I guess...!
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Desmond Jeromme Friday, 30 January 2015 10:58
Excellent Budget - presented by the Gentlemen Government. Special thanks to Hon. President, Hon. Prime Minister
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Kiris Baba Amaray Friday, 30 January 2015 10:59
Never in the history of SriLanka such a brilliant budget was presented. Thanks Ravi.
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upali Friday, 30 January 2015 11:32
Good start, let us all have a meal and not go hungry to bed. A good meal was the luxury of a few under the earlier govt.
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The Citizen Friday, 30 January 2015 12:06
Please check on the Steel corporation deal.... The ONYX group gets total tax free for all their raw material imports...(no NBT no PAL) plus 25 years tax holiday.. but their material is the most expensive in the market.. They charge a premium of about 25000 per ton as compared to the other local manufacturers... They manufacturer a min of 10000 tons per month.... Work out the match ) via DM Android App
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Rodney Leitch Friday, 30 January 2015 12:14
Thank u for the wonderfull budget,maintaining it is is more important,the people have to assist fully in order to keep this going.Please clarify the retiring age limit,people from the age 55 to 59 are not entitled for anything if the retiring age is 60.we retired at 55 and living on the interest from the banks.Would appreciate a solution. Thank u
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afowmi Saturday, 31 January 2015 19:26
Dear President of Sri lankaWe appreciate your new coming As a president with all supporters. We as a citizen would be a partner in your ongoing progress. I have a suggestion, since you are trying your level best support the citizen of Sri Lankan we are also having responsible to do good for the country. Hence there are people who are ready to spare there income from there land, business etc to offer for the government to come up with true love. Only thing government have announce officially then see the output.Regardd
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