Sri Lanka vehicle eco tax Rs1,500, revenue licenses up by 15-pct: Prime Minister

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka will charge an extra 1,500 rupee fee from vehicles for emission tests and annual revenue licenses will be upped by 15 percent, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said as a trade unions and bus transporters threatened a general strike.

A budget for 2016, proposed a 5,000 rupee vehicle emission tax and 25 percent rise in the annual revenue licenses. 

In Sri Lanka some taxes are raised by mid-nigh gazette as if by ‘Royal Prerogative’ and parliament is only informed later. In any case the parliament passes taxes regardless using their majorities of whether it is arbitrary or against the principles of a free country.

Several alcohol firms are expected to be killed off by a hefty 200 million rupees.

A ‘valuation fee’ for vehicles that are leased would be 5,000 rupees and 3,000 rupees for three and two-wheelers, the Prime Minister said.

Sri Lanka’s rulers have to collect more money from the people to finance a steep increase is state worker salaries and pensions promised during elections. 

The inability to finance the new expenditure of a revised budget is now threatening to derail the economy.

Up to November the Central Bank has printed money to finance the spending and manipulate interest rates generating an unsustainable import demand and sent the rupee sliding from 131 to 143 to the US dollar.

Up to July 2015, 61.3 cents out of every tax rupee collected from the people went to pay the salaries and pensions of state workers.

An attempt by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake to end tax free cars to the elected ruling class and state workers was also reversed after legislators and a doctors’ union protested.

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Sri Lank’s Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna is among key sections of the ruling class that promotes a bloated state and burdens private sector workers and the self-employed in productive sectors.

 

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