Sri Lanka supports ‘Right to Development’ | Daily News

Sri Lanka supports ‘Right to Development’

Rajmi Manatunga
Rajmi Manatunga

The Sri Lankan government through its representatives in the United Nations has supported the Special Rapporteur’s report on the ‘right to development’.

The report supports national formulation of development programs. The report notes ‘from the perspective of the right to development, financing for development means funding the development priorities that individuals and communities express since they must drive the processes for their own development.’

The Rapporteur recommends that States establish progressive tax systems that will serve as tools for fighting economic inequality. In reforming their tax systems, States should reduce VAT rates and expand the lists of items that are exempted so that the goods that people living in poverty require remain affordable.

The rapporteur further notes ‘States should terminate tax holidays and special provisions for foreign investors.

Governments should bolster tax administrations and create specialized units for enforcing taxes on the wealthy and corporations.’

The report was discussed on 16 September at 5th Meeting, 45th Regular Session Human Rights Council.

Sri Lankan representative Rajmi Manatunga said “Sri Lanka thanks the Special Rapporteur for his report for financing for development. The world continues to grapple with COVID-19 which has threatened to stymy if not reverse many hard-earned gains of developing countries.”

“We welcome the Special Rapporteur’s call to governments and international financial institutions in April to remain true to their commitment to leave no one behind. Sri Lanka agrees that even before COVID-19, states faced significant challenges in mobilising resources for development.”

Manatunga noted Sri Lanka’s capability to formulate its own development policy. She said, “With a long history of consistent investment in health, education, and poverty alleviation Sri Lanka remains committed to ensuring the right to development through its national development policies and programs.”

“Within a short period of nine months, the new government has initiated a lot of measures to this end even as the country was battling COVID-19. Supporting agriculture, incentivising local industry, improving access to water, education, and health, and addressing unemployment.”