Sri Lanka introduces starter home loan for newlyweds, overseas workers

Colombo, Sri Lanka. Aleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock

The Sri Lankan government presented yesterday its 2019 budget proposal with a roster of subsidised loans, including a housing scheme for newly married couples, on offer.

Under Budget 2019, the ‘Home Sweet Home’ programme will offer loans worth LKR10-million (USD142,000) each for eligible couples to buy starter homes, announced Finance Minister Mangala in a speech Wednesday. The sum should be payable within 25 years at a lending rate of six percent, with a two-year grace period.

Budget 2019 also includes Sihina Maliga (‘Dream Home’), a loan scheme to benefit overseas workers seeking mid-range apartments and houses.

They will be able to obtain a loan of LKR10 million, payable over 15 years and with a grace period of two years. Eligible borrowers include those registered with the Foreign Employment Bureau as overseas workers.

Students who pass GCE Advance Levels exams stand to obtain a LKR1.1-million loan to defray their tertiary studies. These student loans, dubbed My Future, will be payable over 12 years and also offer a grace period of up to two years.

The new budget also calls for the imposition of VAT on condominiums from 1 April. Contractors in infrastructure projects, on the other hand, will be exempted from the Nation Building Tax (NBT).

Samaraweera projects that Budget 2019 will have total expenditures of LKR3,149 billion against revenues and grants of LKR2,464 billion.