Budget 2022 : to consolidate revenues

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –Presenting his maiden budget in Parliament yesterday, for Year 2022, Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa proposed new schemes in an attempt to attract local and foreign investments, noting that the rules and regulations in relation to foreign investments will also be relaxed.

A one-off 25 percent surcharge will be levied on large companies earning more than Rs. 2 billion in profits in addition to a 2.5 percent turnover tax called Social Security Levy, Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa said.

The one-off tax is expected to bring in Rs.100 billion. He noted that a 2.5 percent ‘Social Security Tax’ will be charged from companies with a turnover of above Rs.140 million and will come into effect from April 01. The Social Security Tax is expected to bring in Rs. 140 billion. Financial VAT on finance companies and insurance companies will be increased from 15 to 18 percent. Tax on cigarettes has been increased by 5 rupees and alcohol taxes were also increased.

In a bid to reduce the expenditure on MPs and other functionaries, Minister Basil Rajapaksa noted that the fuel allowance of State officials has been reduced by five litres a month, electricity bills by 10 percent and telephone allowances by 25 percent a month.

The Government will also reform the Samurdhi programme, to ensure eligibility of applicants, among other requirements. Further, MPs will be given pensions after 10 years instead of the current five years, Minister Rajapaksa said.

An amendment will be moved to the Appropriation Bill to stop Supplementary Estimates, he added. In this year’s Budget, the Government has also allocated additional funds for families of the missing persons.

Minister Basil Rajapaksa said while funds have been allocated over the years to assist the families of the missing, an additional Rs. 300 million has been allocated in the 2022 budget to assist these families.

Minister Rajapaksa also said that Rs.30,000 million will be allocated to address the salary anomalies of principals and teachers. Rs.15 billion will be allocated to provide a relief package to the poor families.A contributory pension scheme will be introduced for senior citizens who do not receive pensions. A sum of Rs.400 million will be allocated from this year’s budget to provide relief to school bus and van owners, Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa said in Parliament while presenting the budget speech.

The Finance Minister proposed to further promote the measures taken by the Government to manufacture pharmaceuticals and to encourage the private sector to join hands with internationally recognized companies to manufacture high quality drugs in Sri Lanka targeting the international market.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *