|Budget 2013 today
| Thursday, November 08, 2012 - 05.32 GMT
President Mahinda Rajapaksa will present the 2013 budget today.
The government is aiming to accelerate the pace of economic expansion to 7 percent with the budget by pumping in money for post-war infrastructure projects while raising import tariffs to protect local industries.
Sri Lanka is expected to spend over $21 billion on the construction and rebuilding of ports, roads, railways and other infrastructure through 2015.
Both the central bank and finance ministry have previously said the budget proposals will support an economic growth target of more than 7 percent and single digit inflation. Growth in 2012 is expected to be 6.8 percent.
The new budget also aims to curb the fiscal deficit and protect local industries such as diary and leather in a bid to replace imports, four government officials told Reuters on condition of anonymity.
The government may aim to reduce the deficit from 6.8 to 6.1 percent in 2013. State investments will be maintained at 6.5 percent of the GDP
President Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as the Finance and Planning Minister and the General Treasury had consulted each line ministry and other stakeholders prior to preparing the Appropriation Bill 2013 to formulate a realistic budget.
Economic analysts and top corporate and business personalities anticipate a business and investor-friendly budget. Budget 2013 is also aimed at rapid economic development and the government has taken policy decisions to protect local industries and local entrepreneurs.
The second reading on the Appropriation Bill will commence on November 9 and continue until November 17 (seven allotted days). The second reading will take place on November 17 at 6.00pm. The committee stage debate will begin on November 19 and continue until December 8 (16 allotted days). The third reading vote will be taken on December 8.