Sri Lanka call to end tax exemptions for public servants

Dec 18, 2009 (LBO) – The head of Sri Lanka’s top business chamber has called for an end to tax exemptions given to public servants, saying it was unfair by hardworking private sector employees and also eroded government revenue. A discriminatory import duty structure that favours politically powerful local business interests against all consumers in the country has also strengthened in recent times.

In a bizarre epitome of an arbitrary state, some of the levies are imposed by mid-night gazette while the entire citizenry is literally asleep.

Since independence from British rule Sri Lanka’s rulers have used parliamentary majorities to pass laws that discriminate against various groups of citizens undermining basic concepts of modern constitutional governance.

Sri Lanka has seen three armed uprisings against the state since independence from British rule.

It is not uncommon to see many officials in government offices doing now work.

“Today we have a situation where poor, low level private sector employees receiving a threshold income of 30,000 rupees a month, by working overtime, paying tax,” Ekanayake said.

“Middle level public servants have pay higher than that, perks such as cars and phones, and