Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as
Minister of Finance is delivered the Budget
for 2021 in Parliament today.
The Covid-19 has dealt a serious blow to the tourism industry before it could barely recover from the collapse experienced due to the Easter attacks. We need to formulate strategies to develop the tourism industry that has diversified fairly well, and the tourist attractions in our country under normal conditions while protecting them at this juncture. Although it will take time, there are many opportunities to develop the tourism industry as a sector worth over USD 10 billion. The tourism industry can be developed in the short run, by tapping into the domestic tourism sector which has otherwise spent almost USD 1,500 million per annum for foreign travel, to make use of the domestic tourist facilities by developing such facilities under strict health regulations. Therefore, I propose to extend the concessions and recovery of loans granted under the re-financing facilities of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka until September 30, 2021. I propose to provide the Banks with a Treasuryguarantee covering 50 percent of such loans. I also propose to make necessary amendments to simplify the taxes and fees levied by the Local GovernmentInstitutions on tourism with an upper cap