It’s budget time.
It’s on. The UNP has walked out rather than, you know, actually being an opposition, so what you see is what you get. Things that interested me: the tourist visa fee. It seems set at $20 global, $10 SAARC, which the government is apparently counting on as revenue. But then they say the fee will be waived if visitors stay
more less than 48 hours. I think that whole thing is a confusing mess.
The tweets are live below (#slbudget2012). Refresh to reload, auto-scrolling confuses me. I’ll be adding comments here:
And here we go. The biggest news is that the Rupee will be immediately depreciated by 3%. Hmmm. I have some USD checks clearing, that should impact favorably. This should make imports more expensive, but exports more competitive. The rest of the stuff is mostly benefits (rail [woot], airports [in the north, finally], tax cuts for tourism) and tax hikes (on luxury cars [these rates have been volatile], and sin [alcohol, tobacco, casinos]) and spending (230 billion on military, most of which apparently goes to salaries, uniforms and food, making this a sort of social program).
Some stuff that sticks out is that we’ll be giving aid to the Maldives and that every third child born to a policeman will get Rs. 100,000 (eh?). Parents of dead soldiers will be given Rs. 750 a month (which seems like a typo) and government and security salaries will be raised by 10%.
I’ve highlighted interesting tweets, live feed is below.