Several initiatives to revive economy: Finance Ministry
Posted on November 1st, 2018

Prime Minister and Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs Mahinda Rajapaksa has given direction to implement several initiatives to revive the economy as the consumers are saddled with high cost of living, Finance ministry said today.

It said in a statement that the President and the Prime Minister have raised concerns regarding the serious setback in the economy as reflected in the persistently low growth rates during the last 3 years along with the rising cost of living.

Prime Minister is of the view that ill-conceived economic and financial policies of the previous Government have led to this situation by marginalizing local entrepreneurs, industries and domestic production,” the statement added.

Telecommunication Levy reduced from 25% to 15%

The Finance ministry said today telecommunication Levy of 25% will be reduced to 15% from midnight today.

Prices of Dhal, Chickpeas and black gram reduced

Special Commodity Levy on a kilo of Dhal was reduced by Rs.5, Chickpeas by Rs. 5 and black gram by Rs.25 per kilo from midnight today, Finance Ministry said.

Meanwhile, Customs Duty on Wheat grain will be waived to Rs. 9 per Kg from the existing waiver of Rs.6 per Kg while taxes on sugar will also be reduced by Rs.10 per Kg.

Fuel price reduced

The price of a litre of Petrol had been reduced by Rs.10 while a liter of Auto Diesel was reduced by Rs.7 with effect from midnight  today, the Ministry of Finance said.

Accordingly, a litre of petrol will be sold at Rs.145 and a litre of auto diesel will be Rs.116

Lubricants including the 2T lubricants used in three-wheelers and small agricultural engines have been reduced by Rs.10 per litre

A cost-based pricing mechanism will be implemented on fuel in place of the monthly fuel price formula.

Increased import tax on big onions, potatoes extended

The special commodity levy on imported big onions and potatoes would be extended for a period of one month with effect from today, the Finance Ministry announced.

It said the import tax on big onion was increased to Rs. 40 from Rs. 1 per kilo six months before.

Accordingly, the import tax on potatoes was increased to Rs. 40 per kilogram from Rs. 30.

The Finance Ministry says that this decision has been taken with the reduction of local big onions and potato prices.

The tax increase is expected to control imports and increase the prices of local production.

One Response to “Several initiatives to revive economy: Finance Ministry”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    INTRODUCTION and ENFORCEMENT of Discipline into all aspects of Megalopolis Development will be KEY! That was what Gotabhaya Rajapaksa”s KEY CONTRIBUTION to this EFFORT!

    JLL comments on the Western Region Megapolis Masterplan’s sustainability and progress

    Nov 03, Colombo: In its monthly Compass bulletin, real estate consultancy Jones Lang Lasalle examined the relevance of the Western Region Megapolis Masterplan to Sri Lanka’s ambitions of improving citizen wealth and rapid economic growth.

    The statement also questioned the sporadic nature of the progress reported by the project since March 2017, noting that a cornerstone of the government’s modernization policy must be more frequently communicated to the public.

    The Western Megapolis Development Plan was first conceptualized in 1998 by the newly established Urban Development Authority, leading to a first version in 2002.

    The newest version of this plan was revealed in January 2016 under the newly established coalition government at the time, as the Western Region Megapolis Masterplan.

    This was pitched, and has since been floated, as a cornerstone of the government’s strategy to bring Sri Lanka to upper middle and then high-income status. This ambitious plan sets targets of tripling per-capita income in the western region to USD 12,000 by 2020, creating 500,000 jobs, and making the western region one of the 10 most livable cities in Asia to reverse current brain drain trends.

    For this ambition two transformations are necessary, notes JLL. Spatial transformation of the urban western region is one, the national economy’s structural transformation is another.

    The plan flagged three broad national issues: issues arising from congestion pressures being exerted on urban infrastructure, services and amenities due to messy urbanization; weak enabling environment to propel Sri Lanka to high-income status; and the lack of a framework to harness the benefits of a knowledge based, innovation driven economic environment, characterized by the new industrial revolution and smart cities. The plan aimed to address all these weaknesses.

    There are other institutional challenges to be overcome as well. A lack of appropriate land use policy, ad-hoc development and planning, a mono-centric urban spatial structure, and a poor public transportation system are a few of these challenges that the plan must maneuver.

    “Transforming the western region into a world class metropolis in such sensitive times brings immense challenges in delivering the high-level goals of diversity, inclusivity and sustainability that the plan promises,” says Steven Mayes, Managing Director of JLL Lanka (Pvt) Ltd.

    “If this wish list is to be accomplished then infrastructure and public transformation will be key. If we look at public transport, developing the planned LRT (Light Rail Transit) system will be paramount.”

    Mr Mayes also noted that the Government of Sri Lanka must carefully examine the robustness of the PPP model to underwrite the additional capital sums necessary to upgrade existing bus and rail systems and to initiate the water bus transport system, utilizing existing waterways, envisaged in the master plan.

    JLL also highlighted the importance of regularly updating the news portals used by the government with details on the progress of the Megapolis plan.

    The current website- -reveals no new entries since June 2017, while the consultations portal has not been updated since March 2017.

    “The sustainability of this project will also depend to a significant extent on public engagement and support- communicating what the progress is, even if it is minor, will help to build ownership and awareness. More importantly it’s the government’s duty to inform the public of the progress- or lack of- that is being made with one of Sri Lanka’s most ambitious development plans in recent history.”

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