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Tuesday May 30th, 2023

Sri Lanka to increase betting, gaming taxes; casino tax up 150 percent

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s ministry of finance has announced an increase in betting and gaming taxes while the annual tax for casinos has been increased by 150 percent from 200 million rupees to 500 million as of August 01.

The ministry has also decided to charge an entrance fee of 20 US dollars from locals who visit casinos once new regulations come into effect. A higher than before registration fee is also on the cards.

State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya told reporters on Monday October 24 that with such a high spike in taxes, the government envisages a discouraging effect on the proliferation of casinos in Sri Lanka.

The ministry said in a separate statement quoting the state minister that live betting centres will now be taxed 1 million rupees a year, an increase of 400,000 from the previous annual tax of 600,000 rupees.

The 10-percent turnover tax will be increased to 15 percent, the ministry said.

The annual tax of 4 million rupees on betting sub-agents is to be increased to 5 million rupees.

For betting centres that are not live, the annual tax will be increased from 50,000 rupees to 75,000.

After all these taxes, a 40 percent tax will be levied from these business’ revenue or profits.

In addition to these, a bottle of liquor will be taxed at least 75 percent, a cigarette at least 85 percent, and finally a 40 percent income tax from those companies as well, the ministry said. (Colombo/Oct24/2022)




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  1. EMILYJOACK says:

    Tax the parliament ministers as well please
    Also make them retire. Some are over 75 years old and not fit enough to serve the people

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  1. EMILYJOACK says:

    Tax the parliament ministers as well please
    Also make them retire. Some are over 75 years old and not fit enough to serve the people

Sri Lanka cabinet approves President’s proposal to resume Japanese LRT after soared ties 

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Cabinet of Ministers approved a proposal by President Ranil Wickremesinghe to resume the unilaterally cancelled Japan funded Light Rail Transit (LRT), cabinet spokesman said, as the island nation is in the process of mending ties with Tokyo.

However, any such deals are likely to take place after the debt restructuring and Sri Lanka starts to repay its foreign loans to come out of default, analysts say.

Former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa unilaterally cancelled the 1.5 billion US dollar LRT and East Container Terminal (ECT) projects in 2021. Japan agreed to fund the LRT project while it was one of the tripartite members of the ECT project along with India and Sri Lanka.

The abrupt cancellation hit the diplomatic ties between the two countries and Sri Lankan government officials have said Japan had given the project to Sri Lanka at a very lower financing cost.

President Wickremesinghe returned from Japan late last week after having met top officials of the Japanese government including its prime minister.

“In recent history, due to the stopping of several agreements and proposals suddenly, President Wickremesinghe went to Japan after creating the background to clear some of the worries we have,” Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Gunawardena told the weekly media briefing.

“Before he went, he got the approval from the cabinet to resume the discussion on the light railway project. He got the approval from the cabinet to get parliament approval for bilateral agreements signed or any other investments project. Any change or cancellation of a project could be done only with the approval of the parliament.”

Japan has backed Sri Lanka under Wickremesinghe’s presidency after the island nation declared sovereign debt default. (Colombo/May 30/2023)

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Sri Lanka to tighten grip on television with broadcast law

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has formulated a broadcast authority law to regulate electronic media which will be made public soon, Cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardana said.

“The draft prepared by a cabinet subcommittee under Justice Minister Wijedasa Rajapaksa has discussed with various parties will be given to all media institutions and broadcast media,” Gunawardana said.

“We do not have to hide or force anyone. A legal framework that can be acceptable to all for all sectors.”

“In a week or two Minister Wijedasa will discuss with state and private stakeholders.”

At the moment Sri Lanka has issued frequencies without conforming to an “international procedures”, he said.

In Sri Lanka television frequencies are issued under a state television act.

Successive administrations in Sri Lanka has since around 1980 mis-used state television duopoly which including for conducting elections according to critics.

Private television as well a raio emerged around the 1990s and has since over shadowed state media.

There have been calls by ruling party politicians from time to time to control private media. There is now calls to control social media.

At a Committee on Public Accounts meeting of the Department of Government Information, ruling coalition legislators called for regulation of television content. (Colombo/May30/2023)

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Sri Lanka rupee at 296.75/297.25 to dollar at open, bond yields steady

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s rupee opened at 297 /297.50 against the US dollar in the spot market on Monday, while bond yields were steady, dealers said.

The rupee closed at 296.75 /297.25 to the US dollar on Monday after opening around 296.50 /297.50 rupees.

A bond maturing on 01.09.2027 was quoted at 26.50/75 percent steady from Friday’s close at 26.50/65 percent.

Sri Lanka’s rupee is appreciating amid negative private credit which has reduced outflows after the central bank hiked rates and stopped printing money. (Colombo/ May 29/2023)

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