Sri Lanka hopes to collect 800 million from ‘eco’ tax

Aug 05, 2008 (LBO) — Sri Lanka’s environmental protection office is hoping to collect up to 800 million rupees from a series of taxes charged on people who own cars, mobile phones, standard light bulbs and firms that use telecom transmission towers. The Central Environmental Authority (CEA) will also charge a two percent levy on top of ten percent mobile subscriber levy from August 15.

People who use vehicles for personal transport such as motor cycle owners will have to pay 100 rupees a year, petrol vehicle owners 200 to 500 rupees and diesel vehicle owners between 300 to 800 rupees per vehicle.

But businessmen who own buses and lorries and use them to earn profits, would be freed from the tax. In a separate bizarre policy, Sri Lanka has also freed bus operators from income tax.

CEA chairman Udaya Gammanpila says he is expecting to collect between 500 to 800 million rupees a year from the environmental levy.

He says Sri Lanka had an international obligation as far back as 1992 to start conservation and recycling projects as a signatory to the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development.

“Income from the mobile phone levy will be used to properly dispose unused or broken handsets that contain metals and chemicals harmful