Minister of Finance and Mass Media, Mangala Samaraweera says the open economy was in operation for only two years and with the start of the war in the ’80s the country went backwards.
The economic crisis that began with the war in the early 1980s has affected Sri Lanka in various ways up to 2015, the Minister pointed out.
Minister Samaraweera expressed these views addressing a seminar held in Matara recently under the theme “tax not a liability- social responsibility”.
He explained that nearly 82% of the total tax revenue collected by way of indirect taxes is borne by normal citizens. The ratio is exactly 82 – 18 percent.
“This is unfortunate as well as surprising. Bangladesh, are in front of us. The neighboring India has a ratio of 50-50. In our country the ratio is at 80-20 level,” he said.
“We levy the burden of tax on those who are currently paying tax.”
“I have proposed to change this ratio which may be the highest in the world by introducing a new Inland Revenue Tax Act which will broaden the percentage of direct tax payers,” the Minister said.
He said it is no use bringing in an act if it is not practiced among the people properly.
“The objective of the series of seminars commenced today is to educate the public on the Act. Similarly, the new Inland Revenue Act will be implemented from the 1st of April. For the convenience of studying the bill.
He said the public has the business knowledge to comprehend the new Act and at the same time old archaic laws need to be changed.
“We need to change the Custom Act made in the 1860 and the Excise Tax Act of 1911.”
Commissioner General of Inland Revenue Ivan Dissanayake and Department of National Budget Director General Ruwan Chandra also participated in the occasion.