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 The Government’s fifth Budget that will be presented in Parliament by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera today will be aimed at empowering the people and nurturing the poor apart from catering to the basic educational, health and livelihood requirements of the population.

Today’s Budget will widen the entrepreneurial and human resources empowerment programmes under the Enterprise Sri Lanka programme. It will also uplift the programme of nurturing the poor by ensuring the basic facilities needed.
Although the 2019 Budget was due to be presented on October 26 last year, it was unexpectedly delayed due to the political turmoil and instability which occurred in the country. As such, a Vote on Account had to be presented in Parliament to cover government expenditure for the first four months of 2019.
“Accordingly, a complete Budget for 2019 will be presented in Parliament today by the Finance Minister,” said State Finance Minister Eran Wickramaratne. This year’s Budget will include proposals to fast track public infrastructure facilities and widen income generating avenues of the people”, he said.
He said a large slice of government expenditure will go for debt servicing, government service salaries and allowances and pension payments.
Although a large slice of spending will include recurrent expenditure. There will be proposals towards the development of the road network, Education, Health, Law and Order, Agriculture and several other sectors.
A large portion of spending would be devoted to income generating sectors like Information Technology, Tourism, Small and Medium Scale Industrial and new innovations and research sectors.
The Budget will also encourage education, practical and vocational training sectors which will create new technology based job opportunities. Special emphasis would also be laid on creating new job opportunities for women who contribute towards the country’s workforce.
It would include the planning of women friendly work shifts, pro vision of maternity leave, transport and health facilities, and a higher wage structure and allowances.
He said there will be tax relief and other incentives for entrepreneurs and investors starting businesses and industrial ventures in the Northern, Eastern, Uva and North Central Provinces.
The Second Reading debate on Budget 2019 will be held from March 6 to 13. The Committee Stage debate will be from March 13 to April 5.
“The Third Reading and the voting will be held on April 5,” Secretary General of Parliament Dhammika Dissanayake said.

 President Maithripala Sirisena said that as the subject minister his expectation from the police service is to carry oot law equally to all without considering the position, status or party. He made these remarks at the meeting held to discuss the future proceeding of the police department at the President’s office yesterday (4).

All the senior officers representing all the sections of the police department were summoned to this meeting and they made remarks regarding the work carried out in separate sections.
The President added that throughout his political carrier he has not given any telephone calls to any police station regarding suspects.
Everybody in the Police Service should commit themselves to provide a service by closely associating with the public while taking effective actions against the suspects who break law and providing a better service to the public, said the President.
The President further emphasized that developing the physical aspects of the Police Department, the Police should establish a proper mechanism to reduce the daily complaints received by the Department on a scientific basis. He emphasized the importance of carrying on a long term and medium term program by obtaining the expertise and specialist knowledge on this issue.
President Sirisena said that the trait of a developed country is not to maximize the number of prisons or police stations, but to pay attention on the action to be taken to change the society.
The recruitment, transfers and welfare work were also discussed in length at this meeting.
The President drew his attention to the problems arisen due to opening of new Police Stations without a proper decision making process and evaluation of physical resources, and instructed that establishment of new Police Stations and transfers must be decided through a Committee in the future. While taking these decisions, it is essential to take into consideration the population of the province, number of complaints received and the background is of much importance, the President said.
The President inquired into the progress made in recruiting Tamil-speaking policemen to police stations in the North and East and instructed to strengthen the process.
President Sirisena discussed the steps taken regarding cyber crimes. He also instructed the relevant authorities to expedite the construction work of the proposed Police Training Institute.
Meanwhile, the President’s attention was drawn to a program to establish separate ward complexes for police officers in the main hospitals in Colombo.
The President also focused attention on a program to improve the facilities of women police officers including police officers who come to Colombo from distant places for work.
President Sirisena explained the responsibilities of the Police Department in the environment conservation program including the implementation of the ban on polythene.
Referring to the reports received on the alleged ransom payments from long-distance bus buses, the President instructed the Police Department to take effective steps against such rackets.
Speaking further the President said that the program will be implemented in a phased manner to solve the problems of the lower ranking officers of the Police Department so that they could provide their public service with a satisfied mind.
President Sirisena thanked the Police Department for the support extended to his plans for suppression of illicit drugs and he expressed gratitude to the officers who conducted operations to detect drugs and crackdown on criminals since he assumed the police department under his control.

 Replicas of Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher and Missile launcher produced by Sri Lanka for the first time in the history were presented to President Maithripala Sirisena at the Presidential Secretariat, yesterday (26).

The first Multi Barrel Rocket Launcher and Missile launcher produced by the Center for Research and Development under the Ministry of Defence, utilizing its past war experiences exhibited at the recently held 71st National Day celebrations.
Director General of the Centre for Research & Development, Dr. Tiran De Silva presented those replicas to the President.


 Minister Mangala Samaraweera was sworn in as Finance Minister while State Defence Minister Ruwan Wijewardene was sworn in as non Cabinet Media Minister before President Maithripala Sirisena at the President’s official residence. Pictures by Presidential Media Division

 A loan agreement was signed between the Government of Sri Lanka and AFD for a EUR 75 million (around Rs. 15 billion) project in Ratmalana and Moratuwa on Monday 18th February 2019.

The financing agreement was signed by Secretary to the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media Dr. R. H. S. Samaratunga and AFD Country Director Martin Parent, in the presence of Ambassador of France for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Mr. Eric Lavertu, at the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media.
The Ratmalana/Moratuwa Wastewater Disposal Project aims at improving access to the sewerage service for 45,000 residents of Ratmalana and Moratuwa. It will include significant extension of the sewerage network and more than 10,000 domestic, commercial and industrial connections. Sewage will be treated by the existing Ratmalana wastewater treatment plant.
In order to enhance the expected positive impacts, the project will include information, education and communication campaigns to promote sanitation and hygiene.
The National Water Supply and Drainage Board (NWSDB) will implement the project over a period of five to six years. NWSDB already prepared the project design with the support of an AFD-financed Engineering Consultant.
Blue Economy is key for Sri Lanka, being an Island. Blue Economy is a major source of foreign currency, jobs but also food security. It is also a challenge for the environment and the sustainability itself of its strong potential. 70% of the already 2.2 million tourists and 4 million expected by 2020 are focusing on the coastline. Furthermore, today, more than 3 million inhabitants live less than a kilometre away from the coast. In that context, projects like this AFD funded project, which will mitigate negative impacts of human activities (water pollution above all) while enhancing Blue Economy potential are very important for Sri Lanka development.


The inauguration ceremony of the EkataSitimu (Let’s be together) national programme and the cultural extravaganza launched in parallel with the 71st National Day was held under the patronage of President Maithripala Sirisena at the Dutch Hospital premises in Fort, yesterday (12).

This movement has been launched with the firm determination of working as a one nation set aside all the differences. The aim of this project is to create a prosperous country while joining hands with all patriotic forces.
This programme is jointly implemented by the Special Project Unit of the Presidential Secretariat, the Ministry of Defence and the Sri Lanka Army.
The inauguration ceremony was colourful with a grandeur cultural extravaganza, including the performances by the Army Band, displaying the talents of disabled war heroes and various cultural events.
Motor racing champion Dilantha Malagamuwa presented the EkataSitimu Sandeshaya to the President on this occasion.
The technical equipment to launch the Ekata Sitimu (Let’s be together) programme was presented to the President by the Army Commander Lt. General Mahesh Senanayake.
Dignitaries including Parliamentarian Dilan Perera, Secretary to the President Udaya R. Seneviratne, Army Commander Lt. General Mahesh Senanayake, Commander of the Sri Lanka Air Force, Air Marshal Kapila Jayampathy and Heads of the Security Forces were also present on this occasion.

 The Committee appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena to obtain suggestions for the restructuring of SriLankan Airlines presented its report to the President yesterday. The committee headed by State Minister Eran Wickremaratne was appointed on January 7 and it comprised 12 members. The Committee was given two weeks to compile its report of recommendations to the President on improving the services of SriLankan Airlines. Wickremaratne said that the Committee has made recommendations on three aspects including debt restructuring and earning of capital. He said that the Committee is of the view that the airline should carry forward their activities while placing more emphasis on debt restructuring and earning of capital. The Committee has also recommended to focus on an independent Board of Directors and Management, restricting the human resources of the company and an independent procurement process among others.


The development objective of the proposed project is “to increase the utilization and quality of primary health care services, with an emphasis on detection and management of non-communicable diseases in high-risk population groups, in selected areas of the country”.

This objective will be achieved by supporting the reorganization and strengthening of the Sri Lankan primary health care system. Specifically, the project will support the development and roll out of policies and standards and strengthening of various supportive systems. The project will lay the foundation for a more integrated, coordinated, and people-centered delivery system.
The primary beneficiaries of the project will be the users of public Primary Health Care (PHC) Institutions in the selected communities of the country. The primary users of the public PHC Institutions tend to be the poorer segments of the population. Within the communities supported by the project, those who are most at risk of having or developing a severe or catastrophic Non-communicable Disease (NCD) will be the primary target. Project interventions will benefit the health sector staff at the central and provincial levels by strengthening their capacities and making resources available to plan and execute the strategy for strengthening PHC services.
The project consists of the following components:
• Implementation of the PHC System Reorganization and Strengthening Strategies
• Project Implementation Support and Innovation Grants
• Contingent Emergency Response Component
A Project Steering Committee (PSC) will be established and co-chaired by the secretaries of the Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine and Ministry of Internal and Home Affairs and Provincial Councils and Local Governments. The additional members will consist of secretary to the Finance Commission, nine Provincial Chief Secretaries, and representatives from the central Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine and provincial Ministry of Health, Nutrition and Indigenous Medicine.
The financing agreement of the aforementioned project was signed by Dr. R H S Samaratunga, Secretary, Ministry of Finance and Mass Media on behalf of the Government of Sri Lanka and Ms. Idah Z Pswarayi – Riddihough, World Bank Country Director for Sri Lanka and Maldives on behalf of the World Bank on January 23, 2019 at the Ministry of Finance and Mass Media.

 Ministry of Finance and Mass Media calls upon all stakeholders including the general public to make their proposals for the Budget -2019 before the February 11 as their contribution to ensure introduction of a successful budget targeting building a strong Economy and an Enriched country.

The Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mr. Mangala Samaraweera will present the Budget – 2018 in the Parliament on March 05, aiming at building an enriched country with a strong economy
The Finance ministry expects to mould the public policies in accordance with the aspirations of the community under the theme of democracy, reconciliations and development, which are the main three pillars of this Government. This will be a performance based budget and necessary allocation for projects will be made available on the basis of the action plan prepared and submitted by the respective ministries.
Accordingly, professionals, scholars, the general public and those who are engaged in the sectors of Manufacturing, services and the agriculture are requested to send in their proposals for the budget – 2019 before February 11 to reach the following address
Director General,
Dept. of Trade & Investment Policy,
Ministry of Finance and Mass Media,
The Secretariat,
Colombo 01 or it could also be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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