The proposed hike in the Cost-of-Living (COL) allowance for public servants and pensioners will be effective from January, a spokesman for the Government said yesterday.
Following a meeting of the State Revenue Unit chaired by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, it was decided that Government employees would receive an initial Rs.5,000 increase from January. Pensioners too will benefit with an increase of Rs.2,500 also from January.
As outlined in President Wickremesinghe’s Budget speech, the initiative aims to provide Government employees with an additional Rs.10,000 COL allowance. Of this sum, an initial installment of Rs.5,000 was slated for disbursement in April 2024, with the remaining amount in October.
The meeting deliberated on the possibility of expediting part of the COL allowance increase for public servants, with a consensus reached to implement the Rs.5,000 increment from January instead of April.
The State Revenue Unit’s Financial Status Report for 2023, presented during the meeting at the Parliamentary Complex on Thursday, November 23, states that the proposed salary increase can be implemented from January. The figures reveal a positive outlook, with the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) contributing Rs.1,457 billion to tax and revenue collection as of November 21.
Customs revenue stands at Rs. 842 billion, while Excise revenue has added another Rs. 70 billion, resulting in a combined revenue of Rs. 2,446 billion from these two entities.
Other revenue agencies have contributed Rs.29 billion to the overall revenue collection. With this positive fiscal outlook, the Government’s commitment to improving the financial benefits of public servants and pensioners has marked a milestone.