Sri Lanka’s 2019 budget to empower and nurture citizens: minister

The budget for fiscal year 2019 was unveiled earlier this month by Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera under the theme of ‘Empowering the People and Nurturing the Poor,’ and with the Enterprise Sri Lanka programme set to power economic growth.

Commenting on the budget, Samaraweera noted that the determination to pursue a liberal outward oriented economy is “more steadfast than ever.”

He added: “Towards this end, we are continuing the phasing out of para tariffs and reducing barriers to trade. At the same time, we have built in safeguards with the passage of anti-dumping legislation and the creation of a Trade Adjustment Programme, to support firms and workers in meeting the challenges of competition.”

The 2019 budget promotes increased investment towards social infrastructure and a social safety net – including education, healthcare, housing, employment and the like – with the ultimate aim of empowering citizens and ensuring their self-sufficiency.

Women, youth, children, the elderly and the disabled are expected to benefit from the new budget, which has made allocations for areas such as the environment, agriculture, the city, reconciliation, trade and revenue.