Tax regime to be sustained through more efficient expenditure management - Keheliya | Daily News


Tax regime to be sustained through more efficient expenditure management - Keheliya

Minister of Investment Promotion Keheliya Rambukwella said that the new tax regime could be sustained by the country through more efficient management of expenditure. Rambukwella was speaking at the Ministry of Investment Promotion in the World Trade Centre yesterday.

He said “We have done some tax changes which we have always said is too high for the public. In less than 10 days we were able to do it. We will show them how we will get the money. If you go into details, our (previous Mahinda Rajapaksa regime) taxation was Rs 1 trillion. It was increased to Rs 2.3 trillion. By way of concessions, we are losing Rs 500 billion and we are left with Rs 1.8 trillion.”

“If we manage the country and if the people are comfortable with Rs 1 trillion we will be more comfortable with Rs. 1.8 trillion even if we have cut taxes considerably. When Mahinda assumed duties as the president in 2005 the GDP was US$ 20 billion and we raised it to US$ 82 billion. If you collect 5 percent of 10 percent you are still collecting. That simple theory will be practiced by our experts.”

He said that national security was of the utmost importance to investors. He said that if people were to bring down US$ 500 million they do not want to spend US$ 10 million on the provision of security. He said that the second most important thing to investors was low taxation and that will be looked into by the current government.

He likened the current political challenge given the electoral cycle to a hundred days government. He said that they didn’t need loans but rather an investment. He cited Norocholai and the Southern Expressway as being the most profitable ventures. He said that during this government’s previous tenure the best people were appointed to the Treasury and Central Bank. He said that the Directors of the Board of Investment were to be the best people.

He was in favor of free trade agreements but likened them to tools that have to be suitably used for the betterment of the country. He said that ECTA and the Singapore trade agreement would be looked at by the current government.

He said that though they had only been in government for 2 weeks they have already looked into the suffering of the people. He added that they have received a mandate to do what they are doing and even before all secretaries are appointed that they have begun to do so.

He assured the public that they were able to take the country forward on the reduced level of tax revenue. He said that President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was the person who could deliver politically.

He said that in his electorate people were asking to have an increase of cleanliness. He felt that if the incident was true the person would be requiring urgent medical treatment and that there should be an inquiry. He said that drama had been caused unnecessarily by electronic media in the run-up to the election.

He said that he had no problem with the courts’ system. He condemned the actions of former Minister Rajitha Senaratne with regards to the incident with the Swiss Embassy. He alleged that given Senaratne’s knowledge of the incident it was his side that was behind the incident.

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