COLOMBO : Rs 1.5bn earmarked for development of school cricket
COLOMBO : Delivering the 2024 Budget Speech, President Ranil Wickremesinghe proposed to allocate Rs. 1.5 billion from the next year’s budget for the development of school cricket and providing necessary facilities to cricket players at the provincial level.
Schools and provinces with minimum facilities will be given priority in providing this allocation, Wickremesinghe said.
“We know that cricket in Sri Lanka is currently facing an institutional crisis and a shortage of talent”, the President highlighted while delivering the relevant budget proposal.
Schools to be developed : Highlighting that Sri Lanka currently has an outdated education system, President Ranil Wickremesinghe revealed in the 2024 Budget Speech that a series of comprehensive education reforms are due to be implemented.
Accordingly, a group of 25 experts have been appointed to prepare a new national education policy framework, which was adapted by the Cabinet.
Under these reforms, several key institutions are slated to be established, including the Higher National Council on Education, National Higher Education Commission and the National Skills Commission, President Wickremesinghe said, adding that further details in this regard will be revealed in Parliament by the Minister of Education within the next two weeks.
Speaking further in relation to the expansion of state universities, the Head of State noted that four new universities would be established, considering the current trends for the technical sector.
Accordingly, the Seethawaka Science and Technology, Kurunegala Technology University under the Kotelawala Defence University, Management and Technology University and the International University of Climate Change are slated to be established.
Furthermore, the Head of State also highlighted the need to enhance state universities to suit the modern era, adding that a program to do so will be initiated, starting with the University of Peradeniya.
“Rs. 500 million will be allocated for the initial development activities of this programme aimed at the centenary celebrations of Peradeniya University in 2042”.
Meanwhile, four private institutions, namely, NSBM, Sri Lanka Institute of Information Technology (SLIIT), Horizon Campus and the Royal Institute of Colombo (RIC), are also set to be converted to private ‘universities’, as part of the new reforms.
With regards to non-state universities, the President noted that Sri Lanka will henceforth allow for any recognised educational institution in the world to establish universities in Sri Lanka, following the implementation of a set of rules for the regulation of non-state universities.
“This will create opportunities for every student who passes G.C.E (Advanced Level) to obtain university education and earn foreign exchange through the admission of foreign students. Loan facilities will be provided to students studying in these non-state universities. In addition to the existing interest-free student loan scheme, I propose to implement a subsidized student loan scheme through commercial banks. Arrangements will be made to repay the loan after getting a job”, President Wickremesinghe further said in this regard.
The Head of State made these revelations while delivering the 2024 Budget speech in Parliament this morning (13 Nov.), in his capacity as the Minister of Finance.
Budget 2024: Govt to grant land ownership to estate dwellers
President Ranil Wickremesinghe says the government intends to grant land ownership to estate dwellers and build houses for them.
The Head of State said the government has earmarked Rs. 4 billion as the initial step in this regard.President proposes to re-launch “Suraksha” Insurance Scheme
November 13, 2023 01:47 pm
The “Suraksha” Insurance Scheme for school students which was launched in the year 2016 and later came to a halt, will be re-implemented, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said, while delivering the 2024 Budget Speech in Parliament.
Accordingly, all the school students will be benefited through this insurance scheme by 2024, according to the President.
Budget 2024: Allowances for kidney patients, elderly persons to be increased
President stated that the allowances for kidney and elderly persons would be increased in 2024.
Accordingly, the Head of the State emphasized that the current monthly allowance of Rs. 5, 000 granted per individual suffering from kidney diseases would be increased up to Rs. 7,500 by next year.
“This is almost a 50% increment”, he said.
The number of beneficiaries who receive the relevant allowances stand at 130,000, as mentioned by the President.
Meanwhile, Wickremesinghe also proposed through the 2024 budget to increase the monthly allowance granted for elderly persons up to Rs. 3,000 in 2024. A sum of Rs. 2,000 is currently paid to an elderly individual.
The President, who expressed that the current number of beneficiaries who receive the elderly persons’ allowance is 530,000, also highlighted that measures would be taken to incorporate the individuals in the waiting lists into the lists of beneficiaries by next year.
The total amount allocated for the purpose is Rs. 138 billion, according to the President.
In addition, Wickremesinghe asserted that the total amount of expense for “Aswesuma” welfare benefits, allowances for disabled, elderly and kidney patients is planned to be increased up to Rs. 205 billion, Wickremesinghe said.
Govt employees to receive increased allowances from 2024 – President
An allowance increase of Rs. 10,000 has been allocated for the state sector employees in the 2024 Budget, President Ranil Wickremesinghe stated.
The Head of State revealed that all government employees will receive an additional Rs. 10,000 as Cost of Living allowances.
Accordingly, state sector employees will receive a Cost of Living allowance of Rs. 17,800 effective from January 2024.
Meanwhile, President Wickremesinghe noted that due to the economic hardships that prevailed in the country, several measures were taken to carefully manage public expenditure.
“ln that process, the entitlement of Public Servants for the Distress Loan given during unexpected and unprepared hardships faced by them was subjected to some limitations”, he said, adding that therefore, the Distress loan facility will once again be provided for all public servants, with effect from 01 January 2024.
Presidential and parliamentary elections next year – PresidentPresident said a Presidential Election and the General Election would be held next year.
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