PUTTING THE FINISHING TOUCHES Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera finalizing contents of the 2018 Budget with Finance and Mass Media Ministry Secretary Dr. R.S.H. Samaratunga at the Ministers’ residence.

Tax relief across several sectors:
Commodity tax reduced on a number of consumer items:
Revenue targets to be achieved with no burdens on low, middle income earners :

Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera will present Budget 2018 in Parliament at 3 p.m. today.

In the macro-economic perspective, the Government’s budgetary proposals for next year are aimed at lowering the Budget-deficit, increasing state revenue and easing the debt burden. This year’s Budget comes ahead of the Local Government polls to be held in January.

The Government has hinted that the Budget will provide more concessions and tax exemptions to Small and Medium Scale Entrepreneurs and many other needy sectors, including exports, agriculture, IT, education and tourism etc. It hopes to achieve its revenue targets without burdening the low and middle income earners.

The special commodity tax on several essential food items were reduced yesterday as part of Budget 2018. The list includes potatoes and big onions reduced by Rs. 39 per kg, Dhal by Rs. 12, dried fish by Rs.50, Coconut Oil and Vegetable Oil by Rs. 25 as at midnight yesterday. The Gazette Notification with regards to the reduction was issued yesterday noon.

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera pointed out that the government will have to endure a cost of Rs.1.5 billion per month on this relief pack.

Minister Samaraweera making this announcement yesterday at the Finance Ministry said Budget 2018 will encourage self sufficiency.

He also said the main focus of Budget 2018 will be on long term development measures, on education, industry, agriculture and Green Economy.

Quoting an ancient Chinese proverb, Minister Samaraweera said the fundamentals of Budget 2018 will be based on the principle “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you feed him for lifetime.”

He also highlighted the importance of encouraging self sufficiency among the younger generation who will be the future contributors to the country’s economy.

“However, there are times that we need to give instant relief measures to the people as well. If we take the unwelcome weather conditions like floods and droughts we had during this year, the economy was badly affected and living costs has increased. Changes in the global economy also impacted drastically on the local economy. So it is important as a government to intervene at a time like this to give people relief as well,” Minister Samaraweera said.


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