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Govt approves Rs 16 b economic stimulus package

Approval has been granted to Cabinet memorandum submitted by President Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Finance and Planning Minister to a supplementary estimate applicable to the economic stimulus package and the package to encourage the foreign exchange inflow and savings, Information and Media Minister and Cabinet Spokesman Anura Priyadarshana Yapa said.

Addressing the weekly Cabinet press briefing at the Government Information Department Auditorium yesterday, Minister Yapa said the total amount of this package is Rs. 16,000 million.

Under this package Rs. 1,500 million has been allocated to establish a State institution under the supervision of the Sri Lankan Tea Board and intervention in the tea auction to stabilise the level of Rs. 300 per kg.

Rs. 100 million has been allocated for the provision of one month working capital at a concessionary interest rate for tea factories and another Rs. 2,500 million has been allocated to supply mixed fertilizer for tea growers at Rs. 100 per 50 kg bag.

Cabinet approval has been granted to allocate Rs. 200 million to encourage local manufacturers of tyres for buses and trucks while another Rs. 450 million has been allocated to grant subsidy for rubber manufacturers to ensure a guaranteed price for rubber under this package.

Rs. 50 million has been allocated to grant interest subsidy for cinnamon exporters to ensure a stable price for cinnamon.

Rs. 8,000 million has been allocated to grant a five per cent export incentive for exporters who maintain a same level of exports, employment and value addition equivalent to 2008.

Under the same package, Rs. 200 million has been allocated to provide an interest subsidy and loan restructuring facility for tourist hotels registered with the Tourism Ministry.

Another Rs. 3,000 million has been allocated for other subsidies.

The five per cent export incentive earlier (in 2008) applied only for the apparel and leather exporters, will be extended to all other industrial exporters.

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