Sri Lanka announces ‘stimulus package’ to maintain growth

Dec 30, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has announced a ‘stimulus package’ valued at 16 billion rupees to maintain growth at an optimistic 6.0 to 6.5 percent in 2009, with cuts in energy prices and incentives for exporters. “We have been able to maintain a growth rate of 6.0 percent or above in the past five years and we want to sustain that growth trajectory,” investment promotion minister Sarath Amunugama told reporters.

Minister Bandula Gunewardene said the government had decided on a ‘mini-budget’ at a special meeting of the cabinet of ministers on Tuesday.

Energy

Diesel, kerosene and furnace oil would be cut by 10 rupees a litre and petrol by 2 rupees from midnight. A 12.5 kilogram cylinder of cooking gas sold by the Laugfs gas company would be cut by 276 rupees and Shell by 166.

Three-wheeler taxis will get 75 litres of petrol at a price discount of 20 rupees a litre at the pumps.

Sri Lanka’s petroleum prices are high because of excessive taxation and the island’s Supreme Court has ordered petrol prices to be brought down.

But the government has been dragging their feet over the matter creating the groundwork for a constitutional crisis, according to political analysts.

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