COLOMBO :Sri Lanka’s parliament on Saturday passed the government’s budget for 2018 with a two-thirds majority. The budget vote, which was taken up in the evening, saw 155 lawmakers voting in favor and 56 voting against. The budget for 2018 was presented to the Sri Lankan parliament in November by Finance and Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera. The 2018 Budget, which is Samaraweera’s first after being sworn in as finance minister in May, saw many tax reductions and proposals to strengthen several sectors, including foreign direct investment (FDI), education, health, tourism and economic development. Presenting a speech in parliament, Samaraweera said “The Budget focuses on liberalization to unlock the barriers to greater investment, trade, and start-up enterprises. It also allocates resources to provide training and skill development for youth to equip them with the capabilities to take advantage of such opportunities.” Key features of the budget include introducing friendlier laws to register businesses to attract larger FDIs, establishing high-tech innovation parks and transforming all vehicles in the country to be powered by non-fossil fuel sources by 2040 and having all government vehicles converted to hybrid or electric vehicles by 2025.
Orignally published by APP