Sri Lanka telecom, satellite, DTV taxes to be paid by May 31

COLOMBO (EconomyNext) – Sri Lanka’s telecom, satellite and terrestrial broadcasters would be required to pay levies up to a billion rupees before May 31, 2015 according to tax proposals giving effect to a revised budget in January 29.

Mobile telecom firms will have to pay a 250 million rupees ‘licensed mobile operator levy’.

A direct-to-home satellite broadcaster with more than 50,000 subscribers will have to pay a billion rupees by May 31.

A billion rupee ‘satellite location levy’ will be charged on companies using orbits allocated to Sri Lanka by the International Telecommunications Union.

A ‘dedicated sports channel levy’ of a billion rupees charged on a sports broadcaster with five or more transmitting locations would also have to pay up by May 31.

The tax which is widely regarded to be targeted at Carlton Sports Network, alleged to have been started by the family of former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, with the blatant abuse of state resources and monopoly privileges.

However analysts have said that high penal taxes, which can drive a firm out of business is against global principles of taxation and particularly against principles of taxation in Sri Lanka and India.

The principle which has now been adopted by even the International Monetary Fund, dates back South Asia’s Gupta period and beyond and is colourfully described as the way a bee takes honey from a flower without harming it or drawing milk from a cow without killing it.

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