Finance minister Ravi Karunanayake made the proposal while presenting budget 2017 in parliament today (10).
The focus of the budget will be on economic growth and elimination of poverty, he said.
Another proposal will encourage the importation of electric cars, to be used instead of three wheelers, by granting a 50 per cent loan concession for the importation of more than 1,000 electric cars.
Also, for the media, regional correspondents will be able to apply for loans of up to Rs. 300,000.
Meanwhile, students of private universities approved by the UGC will be eligible to obtain loans of up to Rs. 800,000.
Also, private universities will be regulated under a new programme.
Schoolchildren and teachers will be provided with tabs free of charge and children aged between five and 19 years will have a Rs. 200,000 life insurance cover.
In addition, Pirivena students will be paid a Rs. 2,500 monthly allowance.
Karunanayake urged all traders to keep their businesses open until 11pm, and said a loan scheme would be introduced for small and medium enterprises.
Meanwhile, the prices dhal, green gram, white sugar and domestic gas will be reduced.
In addition, local and foreign investments will be encouraged.