Not Medamu­lana tax but bond scam tax: JO

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - NEWS - BY LAHIRU POTHMULLA

The joint op­po­si­tion (JO) said yes­ter­day the ex­ces­sive taxes im­posed on the peo­ple through the 2018 Bud­get should be de­scribed as ‘bond scam taxes’ in­stead of ‘Medamu­lana taxes’. JO mem­ber G.L. Peiris said though the gov­ern­ment had re­duced prices of es­sen­tial items, it had in re­turn hoped to ob­tain a colos­sal rev­enue by way of in­di­rect taxes.

The gov­ern­ment will have to spend Rs.18 bil­lion next year to pro­vide the price re­duc­tions on es­sen­tial items

“The gov­ern­ment will have to spend Rs.18 bil­lion next year to pro­vide the price re­duc­tions on es­sen­tial items. How­ever, in­di­rect taxes will help it earn Rs.649 bil­lion. These are not Medamu­lana taxes but bond scam taxes. Even Min­is­ter Lak­sh­man Yapa Abey­war­dane had ad­mit­ted that the gov­ern­ment had lost as much as Rs.1 tril­lion be­cause of the bond scam,” he told a news brief­ing.

Prof. Peiris said every­one was look­ing for­ward to see Prime Min­is­ter Ranil Wick­remesinghe giv­ing ev­i­dence at the bond com­mis­sion and what he has to say about the scam.

He said the JO would not join the SLFP fac­tion led by Pres­i­dent Maithri­pala Sirisena as long as it con­tin­ued to be a part of the UNP gov­ern­ment.

Prof. Peiris said the 2018 Bud­get had plenty of loop­holes be­cause it had been pre­pared with the pri­mary in­ten­tion of pro­vid­ing ben­e­fits to for­eign na­tion­als and not to Sri Lankans.

“Rs.10 mil­lion had been al­lo­cated for peo­ple to ob­tain loans to re­fur­bish houses to pro­mote tourism. Only 10 house­hold­ers can up­grade their houses from this amount. An­other pro­posal was made to al­lo­cate Rs.25 mil­lion for en­trepreneurs. Given that one per­son can ap­ply for a loan of up to Rs.1.5 mil­lion, only 16 en­trepreneurs can ob­tain this loan. The re­duc­tion of ex­cise duty tax on brand new elec­tric ve­hi­cles was also a hoax as par­ent com­pa­nies won’t send brand new ve­hi­cles to Sri Lanka,” he said.

Prof. Peiris said re­mov­ing re­stric­tions for for­eign na­tion­als to pur­chase apart­ments and other prop­er­ties would in­crease the prices of apart­ments, lands and prop­erty in the coun­try, mak­ing it dif­fi­cult for lo­cals to pur­chase them.

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