Smokers cough up Rs.117.3bn to govt. in 2017
The monopoly cigarette player, Ceylon Tobacco Company PLC (CTC), has paid Rs.117.3 billion to the state in excise, taxes and levies in FY17, compared to Rs.98.3 billion in FY16, the financial accounts released to the Colombo Stock Exchange showed.
However, CTC maintains that the government could have milked Rs.135 billion in total taxes in FY17, if not for the 43 percent cigarette price increase and 15 percent value-added tax (VAT) that were effected in the fourth quarter of 2016.
“In the past, the Government of Sri Lanka had successfully increased its excise revenue from cigarettes, on average, by around 20 percent year-on-year (YOY) but in 2017, it experienced only a marginal increase of 1.6 percent over 2016 to Rs.88.9 billion,” CTC said in a statement to the press. The company saw its gross revenue for the year surging to Rs.139 billion from Rs.121.5 billion in FY16 but the net revenue—revenue after government levies— edged down 0.3 percent YOY to Rs.31.6 billion.