Summary of the 2021 Budget

The Government proposed to increase the daily wage of plantation workers to Rs. 1,000 from January 2021.

Delivering the Budget Speech, Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said he intends to present to a legal framework that will change the management agreements of plantation companies that are unable to pay this salary and provide opportunities for companies with successful business plans.

A guaranteed price will be provided to encourage our farmers to cultivate Rice, Maize, Kurrakkan, Sesame and black gram, said the Prime Minister, adding that this is a blessing also for the cultivation of vegetables, fruits and coconuts and other plantation crops.

The Prime Minister proposed to amend the Agrarian Development Act no 46 of 2000 to empower the District Secretaries to direct the use of barren and abandoned paddy and other agricultural lands for productive agricultural purposes.

The Prime Minister proposed to amend the Agrarian Development Act no 46 of 2000 to empower the District Secretaries to direct the use of barren and abandoned paddy and other agricultural lands for productive agricultural purposes.

Import of Ginger and Turmeric have been completely stopped so as to encourage the cultivation of those, while also proposing a support scheme to promote, the cultivation of ginger and turmeric as additional crops in coconut and rubber lands.

The Government guaranteed the provision of fertiliser for paddy free of charge, while a 50 Kg bag of fertiliser for other crops would be given at a concessionary price of Rs.1,500

The continuous distribution of Thriposha food to infants and pregnant mothers will commence from March 2021.

100 percent 4G/fibre broadband coverage is expected to be expanded to the entire country by investing Rs.15,000 million from the Telecom Development Fund during the period 2021-2022.

Identified state lands will be vested with the Telecommunication Regulatory Commission to successfully implement communication tower installations.

The Urban Development Authority has already commenced construction of fully fledged housing complexes amounting to 50,000 houses for low and middle level income earners and it is proposed to implement a loan scheme with an annual interest of 6.25 percent with a payback period of 25 years to facilitate the acquisition of these houses.

The 2021 Budget proposed to amend the Finance Act to introduce a legal framework to allow the attachment of public sector employees of closed services to other institutions according to their service requirements within the existing conditions of respective services.

The Prime Minister proposed to implement a special loan scheme for public servants to obtain solar powered electricity.

It is proposed to amend the Employees’ Provident Fund Act to expand the retirement age for both men and women up to 60 years.

The 2021 Budget proposed to introduce a contributory pension scheme to be made available at the end of 65 years of age.

The Prime Minister proposed to establish a shop in all Grama Niladhari divisions where the network of shops has been adequately expanded targeting 25,000 female entrepreneurs chosen from Samurdhi families.

The Government proposed to pay Rs. 2 per dollar above the normal exchange rate for the foreign exchange remittances sent by foreign workers to banks in Sri Lanka.

To promote the listing of local companies with the Colombo Stock Exchange, it was proposed to provide a 50 percent tax concession for the years 2021/2022 for such companies that are listed before 31 December 2021 and to maintain a corporate tax rate of 14 percent for the subsequent three years.

It was proposed to provide a monthly bursary of Rs. 4,000 for students in the vocational education system & to allocate Rs. 3,000 million as an additional financing for this purpose.

It is also proposed to implement a new “Samurdhi enterprise development loan scheme” utilizing 90 percent of the deposits made by Samurdhi banks in State banks to provide loans under an annual interest of 7 percent in order to enhance the homebased economies and entrepreneurial ventures of Samurdhi beneficiaries.

Government has taken necessary action to simplify various institutional approvals and license procedures pertaining to the construction industry in order to make the supply chain more efficient.

RDA will prepare a special programme to obtain raw materials such as rock, sand, soil etc. from identified locations, minimizing the damage to the environment.

Attorney General has been directed to expedite legal action against the Edirisinghe Trust Investments Finance Limited (ETIFL) and its subsidiary companies in line with the Report of the Presidential Commission of Inquiry appointed to investigate alleged malpractices of the ETIFL.

It is proposed to extend the concessions and recovery of loans granted under the re-financing facilities of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka until September 30, 2021.

Steps have been taken to extend the marine drive up to Moratuwa.

It is proposed to increase renewable energy capacity to 1,000 MW by the expeditious implementation of both off shore wind and floating solar power plants exceeding 100 MW, with incentives provided by the Board of Investment and to allow a tax holiday of 7 years for all renewable energy projects.

It is proposed to strengthen the surveillance by the Sri Lanka Air Force to prevent illegal deforestation.

The identified deforested lands will be reforested with the assistance of the Sri Lanka Air Force. Rs. 3,500 million is proposed to be allocate for the accelerated forestation programme during 2021-2023.

The Government proposed an additional allocation of Rs.2,500 million, to address special programmes aimed at strengthening public security.

It is proposed to upgrade the Nursing schools to that of degree awarding institutions to expand the professional education of nursing and nursing services.

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