President Mahinda Rajapakse presented the 2015 budget proposals to the parliament this evening with many relief including pay high for all sectors. Accordingly, a new salary structure will be introduced for the public servants with effect from January. All special allowances paid to them at present will be added to the basic salary. Minimum salary of the public servants will be increased up to 15,000 rupees. Cost of living allowance will increase by 2,200 rupees. Casual and temporary employees who have completed 180 days service in Corporations and Statutory Boards will be made permanent. The president proposes to increase the minimum salary of the private sector up to 10,000 rupees. Their monthly salary will be increased by 500 rupees. The 12 percent of the salary paid by the employer for the EPF will be increased to 14 percent. Salary anomalies of the pensioners will also be rectified. Interest rates of the savings of senior citizens in State Banks will be increased up to 12 percent. The tax on interest will be removed.
The President said that certified price for a kilo of paddy will be increased up to 40 rupees. Fertilizer subsidy will be continued. Accordingly a 50 kilogram fertilizer bag will be sold at a concessionary rate of 350 rupees. Fertilizer for other crops will be given at a price of 1,250 rupees further. A certified price will be announced for potatoes, big onion, and maize. Seed paddy will be given free to the farmers whose crops are damaged. The age limit for the farmer pensioner scheme will be reduced to 63 years. Another sum of 500 million rupees will be added to the farmer pension fund within 3 years to further expand the benefits. A fixed price of 4,500 rupees will be announced for a metric ton of sugar cane as a concession to the sugar cane farmers.
Sugar factories in Sevanagala, Kantale and Pelwatte will be developed. The amount paid to the dairy farmers for a litre of liquid milk will be increased up to 60 rupees. Price of a kilo of locally made milk powder will be reduced by 100 rupees.
The President has also presented a number of proposals for the upliftment of the plantation sector. A certified price of 300 rupees will be introduced for a kilogram of local rubber. The CESS for the kilo of imported rubber will be increased by 10 rupees. Subsidy given to re-cultivation of rubber, tea and coconut will be increased. Certified prices will be introduced for the fish products manufactured by small scale fishermen. 1,000 fresh water fishing villages will also be developed. Thee year plan will be implemented for the development of fishing community at a cost of 750 million rupees annually. Proposals are also included in the budget to upgrade bakery industry, barber saloons, retail shops, weekly fairs and mobile businesses. Subsidy for small minor export crops will be increased by 25 percent. A sum of 1,000 million rupees has been allocated to motivate women entrepreneurs.
A pension scheme has been proposed for garment sector employees and three wheel drivers. 1,000 rupees allowance paid to the senior citizens will be increased up to 2,000 rupees. 3,000 rupees will be paid to disabled persons as a cost of living allowance. The 5,000 rupees allowance paid to the 1980 July strikers will be increased to 6,000 rupees. Each kidney patient will be paid a 3,000 rupees monthly allowance.
50,000 teaching assistants will be recruited for the vacancies in rural schools. They will be paid a monthly allowance of 9,500 rupees. They will be interrogated to the teaching service once they completed the Degree in Education.
A sum of 600 million rupees has been set aside for the local government bodies. 50,000 GCE A-Level qualified youths will be recruited as management and accountant assistants for the vacancies in Local Government Bodies. They will be given a 6 month professional training with a monthly allowance of 8,000 rupees. They will be given permanent appointment after successful completion of the training. 500 technicians will be recruited for the development of dairy farming sector. The President has proposed to increase the Mahapola scholarship allowance up to 4,000 rupees. Salaries of the universality academic and non academic staff will be increased.
Pre school teachers will be given 2,500 rupees monthly allowance. Furniture and other equipment will be provided to each pre school. Amount of scholarships for year five students will be increased up to 25,000. The 500 rupees scholarship allowance will be increased up to 1,500. Students of the public servants are also entitled scholarship allowances. Divineguma monthly allowance will be increased up to 3,000 rupees under 3 stages. A number of low interest loan schemes will be introduced as well. Concessionary rates will be introduced for pipe born water.
Police officers have also being benefited by the budget proposals. They are entitled to allowance of official residence and motor cycles at subsidized rates. Police officers are also entitled the 100,000 rupees allowance given to members of three armed forces for their 3rd child. The 750 rupees allowance paid to parents to war heroes will be increased up to 1,000 rupees.
Kidney Treatment Units at Maligawatte, Anuradhapura and Hambantota hospitals will be developed at a cost of 750 million rupees. Each citizen will be given a free medical checkup.
Mobile ambulance service will also be introduced. 500 million rupees have been allocated to upgrade Ayurveda hospitals and research centers. A sum of 5,000 rupees will be paid to doctors serving at ayurvedic hospitals. Indigenous doctors will be given loans at low interest rates to develop their dispensaries.
500 small busses will be deployed for passenger transport in rural areas. 5 institutions will be setup to promote vocational education for the migrant workers. A pension scheme will also be introduced for them. Loans will be provided at low interest to private bus owners to purchase new busses.
A service charter and a salary structure have been introduced for the railway workers. President Mahinda Rajapakse said all segments of the society should extend their utmost support to implement the budget proposals successfully.