Low tax regime & capital allowances from 2017 budget: Sri Lankan PM

Oct 27, 2016 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s 2017 budget proposals will include proposals to introduce a low tax regime in the island coupled with a program of capital allowances, the premier said.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe making a special statement in Parliament today said these new proposals aimed at increasing investment and job creation.

“Finance Minister will give the details of the capital allowances and the low tax regime for all direct investments for new employment creation,” Wickremesinghe said.

“A new act replacing Sri Lanka’s existing import and export control act will be introduced soon.”

The proposed act is expected to be aligned with the Regulation of Imports and Exports Act and the Strategic Goods (Control) Act in Singapore.

The Strategic Goods (Control) Act of Singapore regulates the export, transshipment, transit, intangible transfer of technology and brokering of strategic goods and strategic goods technology.

“We’ll introduce a trade adjustment package for local entrepreneurs to support them connect global markets,” Wickramasinghe said.

This trade adjustment package will also include capital allowances for new machinery.

“So they can also get the benefit of capital allowances for new equipment and machinery.”

Premier said these initiatives will help Sri Lanka face two challenges: huge debt burden of the government and lower local investments.

Wickremesinghe further stated that new proposals on digital economy, tourism industry and commercial agriculture will also be included in the upcoming budget.

First reading of Budget 2017 (budget speech) is scheduled on 10th November 2016.

Second reading debate and committee stage debate are scheduled to be held for 25 days in the months of November and December.

Government allocated 1,819 billion rupees to meet the estimated expenditure requirements of next year.

The total recurrent expenditure is 1,208 billion rupees while total capital expenditure is 610 billion rupees.

Full speech (English version) is reproduced below.

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