Increased taxes finance war machine
[TamilNet, Friday, 09 March 2001, 01:51 GMT]
The Sri Lankan government increased the National Security Levy (NSL) it imposes on goods and services by one percent, introduced a 25 percent surcharge on corporate taxes, doubled airport tax, hiked up taxes on punters and casinos, among a series measures to raise revenue to manage the island's cash strapped economy and to finance an unwieldy war machine. Prof. G.L Pieris, Junior Minister for Finance, said that his government has allocated 75 billion rupees for defense this year. Analysts said that this figure would eventually be much higher.
Although the government allocated only 52.43 billion rupees for defence last year, the actual spending overshot the original allocation to hit anything between 83 to 85 billion rupees (just over a billion dollars).
According to Analysts in Colombo, the burden of these revenue measures would finally impact adversely on the people when the private sector companies decide to pass the burden of a surcharge and the national security levy (raised from 6.5 to 7.5) onto the average consumer.
Private radio and TV stations have to pay 100 percent tax for broadcasting and telecasting rights.