Budget Speech 2023 – Highlights

President and Finance Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe is delivering the Second Reading of the Appropriation Bill for the financial year 2023 in Parliament.

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Economic Outlook
We are expecting a positive outcome from debt talks; we were able to manage inflation.
Vietnam used to follow our stystem but they are ahead of us now; their main income is – agriculture, tourium and export zones
We were spending on large projects on foreign loans.
We should change the current economic model; 1977 open economic model is not viable now; the new model needs to suit young people of the country
We need a social market economy consisting of three things; export oriented economy, a green economy, and a digital economy
Budget Proposals 2023
Govt income to increase up to 15% by 2025
Primary deficit over 2% by 2025 and increase thereafter
Govt loans will be reduced in the medium term below 100% of GDP
We anticipate taking inflation to mid-single digit inflation along with the interest rates. The framework of the new economy has been set and now we have to work towards it
New economic zones- Western – Wayamba – Trinco and Hambantota. FDI through tax rebates; Rs 300 million for this
Labour laws are old and need to be redone to suit the modern times
Proposal to set up an International Trade Office in Sri Lanka. Regional trade ties will be strengthened with Singapore and others
Underutilised lands to be provided for export crop cultivation on long term basis
White Water Rafting is to be improved in order to develop sports tourism
Foreign scholarships for top A/L students and graduates
New medical faculty for the Uva Wellassa University of Sri Lanka with Rs200mn
Presidential Commission for Taxation to increase tax revenue
Data Security Authority to regulate data privacy laws
New insurance scheme for Private sector employees proposed. It will provide an allowance for three months for private sector employees who lose their jobs. EPF and the EPF Act to be amended to facilitate this
Passport and visa fees are to be increased
Tax Policy
Several tax reliefs proposed
Para tariffs to be gradually removed
Special programme to be implemented to identify HNI’s and promote tax contributions
Other Proposals
Restructuring of SOEs: Sri Lankan Airlines, SLT, Hilton, Waters Edge, SLIC, and their subsidiaries will be restructured first. Proceeds will be used to protect foreign reserves
A regulatory body to be established to look into micro-finance activities. A gem trade centre to be established
New international university to study climate change with Rs100mn
Special committee appointed to explore the cultivation of marijuana
The annual addition of $3 billion is expected from new exports from 2023-2032
A comprehensive welfare beneficiary system to be implemented
Rs. 500 million allocated for climate change research and studies, establishing an international university
Rs. 100 million allocated to establish an excise laboratory facility to test the quality of alcohol products
Polonnaruwa, Kurunegala and Badulla hospitals are to be designated as teaching hospitals. Paid ward system in state hospitals to be reintroduced with national and base hospitals
A task force to review budget proposals to be established.
The budget speech concluded; the full budget speech will be shared shortly.
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