Sri Lanka to charge 0.25-pct social security levy from businesses

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has proposed to charge a 0.25 per cent social security tax from business with more than 50-employes to support temporary job losses due to pandemic such as COVID-19, Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said presenting a budget for 2021.

The bigger businesses will finance the job losses of smaller ones.

“I also propose to create a new insurance scheme to support those who temporarily loose livelihoods due to the quarantine process related to epidemics including COVID,” PM Rajapaksa told parliament.

“I propose to get businesses and factories with more than 50 employees, to contribute 0.25 percent of the turnover to the proposed insurance fund.”

This insurance scheme will be used to support employees of small-scale retail wholesale shops and hotels with more than 5 employees.

Tax-payers will also finance a Covid-19 insurance scheme for state workers.

“I also propose to implement a COVID Insurance Scheme with the assistance of the Government in parallel to the Agrahara Insurance Scheme for all public services,” he said.

Meanwhile the government will also raise the retirement age of private sector workers, potentially blocking them from accessing their Employees Provident Fund balances at 55 years. (Colombo/Nov18/2020)

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