Sri Lanka’s 2021 Budget offers prosperity to all says State Minister
The Budget proposals for 2021 presented last week by Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Mahinda Rajapaksa highlights long term development goals to offer economic prosperity to all, rather than offering the traditional short term ‘goodies’ for a few, Sri Lanka’s State Minister of Money and Capital Markets and State Enterprise Reforms, Ajith Nivard Cabraal has said.
The State Minister has made this observation while speaking at the KPMG hosted Budget Forum last week.
Cabraal has said that with a battered economy due to mismanagement of the previous government and COVID-19 pandemic, a ‘high tax for the corporate sector’ was expected. “However we did not want to further burden the corporate sector and decided against this.”
He has further stated that instead, several incentives and moratoria were offered not only for the corporate sector but to SME, construction, tourism and different sectors of the economy as well.
The State Minister has also observed that the government considered providing lasting solutions for the human elephant conflict, a better road network (target 100,000 development of roads) and drinking water for all as long term ‘goodies’ for all in lines with the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s Vistas of Prosperity, the Daily FT has reported.
He has said that the previous Mahinda Rajapaksa led government had considered providing electricity for all as a priority and provided electricity for almost 99% of the households from 30% of households. Today pipe-borne water is accessible to only 42% of the population.
The State Minister has noted that the government is also keen to promote ICT, shipping, local manufacturing of pharmaceuticals and also promote Colombo as a Financial Hub and several incentives were provided towards this. “We also target to get 500 new listings to the Stock market and several initiatives to this effect were spelled out.”
The proposals in the 2021 Budget are expected to propel economic activities despite the global Covid 19 pandemic. Also, Sri Lanka’s geographical positioning in the Indian Ocean and the many trade agreements as well as trade concessions enjoyed by the country have made it a business hub in the South Asian region. Along with these, Sri Lanka’s development programme has opened up many business opportunities in the country. Foreign businesses/investors could therefore explore opportunities in Sri Lanka.
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