Sri Lanka rupee down on importer dlr demand ahead of budget

Sri Lanka rupee down on importer dlr demand ahead of budget”

Sri Lankan Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera on Thursday presented an environment-friendly budget for 2018, keeping in line with the country's worldwide commitments on climate change.

The Sri Lankan rupee ended weaker on Thursday due to heavy importer dollar demand and the purchase of US currency by banks ahead of the national budget presentation, dealers said.

The Government has proposed to reduce the import tax on electric vehicles by Rs 1 million in the budget for 2018.

He said the government is looking at using alternate energy for all vehicles by 2040.

In order to maintain a tourism-friendly environment, Samaraweera said Sri Lanka would upgrade railway stations in key tourist locations, upgrade home stay facilities, promote eco tourism, and establish a tourism-friendly tuk-tuk program for the safety of tourists. "Some banks also bought dollars to cover their short positions", a currency dealer said asking not to be named.

This is incidentally the first budget presented by Minister Mangala Samaraweera after being appointed as the Minister of Finance.

Announcing this pre-budget benefit in a media briefing at the Ministry with the State Minister of Finance Eran Wickramaratne, the Minister said that majority of the consumers will benefit from this action, due to reduction of prices.

The budget will now be debated over the next few days in Parliament before a vote is taken next month.

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