A bonanza budget, full of concessions to many sectors, including many perks for public sector employees, was presented in Parliament yesterday by President Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his capacity as the Minister of Finance.The President declared that the per capita income would be increased to US$ 4,000 by 2015, a year earlier than expected. Bonanza.
The projected revenue for 2015 is Rs 1,600 billion. Whilst export earnings are projected to be US$ 11.5 billion, US$ 7 billion is expected in foreign remittances. He said, the government is strengthening revenue efforts as concessions are given in terms of public services, welfare programmes and public investments.
Thus, the government has introduced a simplified taxation method to generate additional revenue of Rs 5,000 million. Presenting his 10th Budget to a chamber where the Opposition ranks were also present, President Rajapaksa stressed the need to protect the hard-earned safety and security of the nation, while pointing out the need to accelerate development in all spheres. While proposing a salary increase to the private sector, the President made it mandatory for private sector employers to increase their share in the EPF contribution from 12% to 14% and include a salary increase of Rs 500. The minimum wage of a government sector employee was raised to Rs 15,000 and with emoluments the total coming to Rs 25,000 per month. The changes are effective from 1 January 2015. The Budget 2015 looked much an election-oriented budget with a Presidential Election on the cards in early January. (Compiled by Zahrah Imtiaz, Gagani Weerakoon, Menaka Indrakumar, Skandha Gunasekera and Ruwan Laknath Jayakody)
Posted from WordPress for Android