Published on Monday, 21 November 2011 22:05
Following are the highlights of the Budget -2012 presented by President Mahinda Rajapaksa in Parliament on Monday
STATE SECTOR SALARY INCREASE
Revision of Salaries and Allowances of Public Sector Employees–Budget 2012
(i) For all public servants, the special allowance of 5% of the basic salary which is being paid at present will be increased by a further 10% making it 15% of the basic salary. For non-staff grade officers this increase will be effective from January 2012 and for staff grade officers 50% of the increase will be paid from January 2012 and the balance from July 2012.
(ii) The transport expenses and office allowances paid to Grama Niladaries will be increased with effect from January 2012 as follows:
Transport Allowance per month
- Within the Division from Rs.200/- to Rs.350/-
- Outside the Division from Rs.500/- to Rs.750/-
- For Supra-Grade Grama Niladari from Rs.1,000/- to Rs.1,500/-
Office Allowance per month
- Within the Municipal and Urban Council areas from Rs.750/- to Rs.1,000/-
- Within the Pradeshiya-sabha areas from Rs.500/- to Rs. 750/-
(iii) The members of the Judiciary coming under the purview of the Judicial Service Commission who are entitled for a "Driver's Allowance" for not obtaining the services of an assigned driver, for the official vehicle will be increased to Rs.15,000/- per month with effect from January 2012.
(iv) The "On-Call Allowance" given for Doctors and the Registered /Assistant Medical Practitioners will be increased by Rs.2,500/- per month with effect fromJanuary 2012.
(v) Engineers belong to the Sri Lanka Engineering Service and assigned to field related duties will be paid a "Field Attendance and Transport (FAT)" allowance of Rs.15,000/- per month with effect from January 2012.
(vi) The salaries of University Academic and Non-Academic staff will be adjusted in accordance with the Management Service Circular No 30(1). A circular indicating the adjusted salaries will be issued by 31/12/2011. Adjusted salaries for Non-Academic Staff will be paid in January 2012. For the Academic Staff this will be effective in two stages in July 2012 and October 2012
2. Rectification of Pension anomalies
- For correcting pension anomalies on a step-by-step basis, the present payment of Rs.750/- per month for pensioners who retired on or before 31/12/2003 will be increased to Rs.1,750/- (i.e. by Rs.1,000/- per month) and for pensioners who retired during the period 01/01/2004 to 31/12/2005 will be increased from Rs.250/- to Rs.750/- Rs.500/- per month). 50% of this increase will be paid in January 2012 and the balance 50% will be paid in July 2012.
- As per the recommendations of the Salaries and Cadre Commission, an allocation will be made to remove salary anomalies of academic and non-academic staff of universities, and to improve service related and transport allowances of Judges, Engineers, Doctors, Registered Medical Practitioners, Grama Niladharis and other field officers. I wish to note that every public servant will get a salary increase of over Rs. 2,500 within 2011/2012.
- An additional monthly allowance of Rs.1,000 to those who have retired prior to 2004 and Rs.500 to those who have retired in 2004 - 2006.
- "We need to reduce the import cost and increase export revenue. When our currency has strengthened, our trading partners' currencies have depreciated. So I propose to devalue the currency by 3 percent with effect from today."
"We have been able to maintain the growth rate at 8 percent in 2011, the same as 2010."
- The government initially had forecast growth of 8.5 percent in 2011, but trimmed the forecast to 8.3 percent last month.
- "In the Northern region, it is reported that the growth is 23 percent, well beyond 8 percent." Last year, economic activity in the former war zone -- which was under the control of Tamil Tiger separatists for decades until the Sri Lankan military defeated them in 2009 -- grew at a 14.2 rate.
- The Northern Provincial Council is the only remaining provincial government that has not had elections.
- Devolution of power to the provincial level in the Tamil-dominated north is a crucial demand of Tamil parties negotiating with the government over political concessions, with the backing of several Western governments.
- "In addition to rice, we need self-sufficiency in green grams, peanuts, ginger, and corn in order to achieve food security. So I propose a high cess on imports of these products."
- "Vehicle registration charges will be revised while they will be increased for luxury vehicles in order to increase revenue of provincial councils." He also said tourism vehicle import duties will be cut by 50 percent
- "We have allocated 30 billion rupees ($271.8 million)for the inter provincial road network."
- "We can be the regional sports hub and that can help to strengthen our economy. I propose 500 million rupees for development of infrastructure complexes and all sport goods will be tax-free in order to encourage sports."
- A monthly allowance of Rs. 750 to each of the parents of members of the security forces
- A special loan scheme ‘Ranaviru Divi Neguma’ for the benefit of disabled soldiers, to be engaged in self employment
- A sum of Rs. 14,000 million has been allocated in this Budget to meet the monthly allowance aid to all disabled soldiers.
- It is propose to extend the application of the proposal that I announced in the last Budget to grant Rs.100,000 at the birth of the third child of any member of the security forces, to those who are serving in the Police force as well.
- The monthly allowance paid to the elders over 70 years from Rs. 300 toRs.1,000 and from Rs. 100 to Rs. 500 in relation to others.
- Samurdhi allowance that is paid in 8 slabs, ranging from Rs. 210 to Rs. 1,500. Accordingly, the Rs. 210 to Rs.615 allowance being paid to low income small families will be increased to
- Rs. 750, while the Rs. 900 allowance paid to low income general families will be increased to Rs. 1,200.
Empowering Artists and Journalists
- A special fund with Rs 50 million will be set up to assist fulltime artists, journalists and writers very often face economic difficulties Assistance could be extended to elderly artists, journalist and writers by appreciating the contributions made by them from time to time and by extending assistance to families towards meeting their funeral expenses etc.
- An interest free car loan scheme to enable senior artists, writers and journalists who have made an uninterrupted contribution of over 25 years, to purchase a motor car.
TOURISM VISA FEES
- "We have decided to impose a vise fee of $10 per person from the SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) region countries and $20 from the other regions' visitors. There won't be any charge on children to encourage family tourism. Tourists who spend a minimum of 48 hours also won't be charged. This will give an additional revenue of 2 billion rupees."
- Of 230 billion rupees allocated to defense, 203 billion or 88 percent will be spent on salaries, food and uniforms.
- "We have a very limited land extent... we will completely stop the selling of government lands for the private sector and have decided only to lease out on a long-term basis.
- "If any investor does not adhere to the lease agreement, action will be taken to cancel the those lease agreements
- "Now we have identified 37,000 acres of land under the plantation industries which are not used. These identified lands will be handed over to identified families for a 30-year lease, 2 acres each to develop small estates with lending facilities and seeds." In addition, high quality seeds and planting material will also be provided to them.
- A compulsory saving of 2 percent of recurrent expenditure and 9 percent of capital expenditure is proposed in 2012, with a view to encourage Ministries to effectively manage expenditure.