Oct 16, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s rulers can set an example to the people by starting to pay taxes and the increasing privileges of elected officials can permeate wider into a bloated state, a retired public servant who has spent his life batting on the side of the people said. “For instance there is a provision for each member of parliament, to spend as he wishes – a form of pocket money – this on top of the greatly enhanced emoluments and free perks,” Jayewardene said.
“There is a danger of a drift down of these emoluments and privileges down the public service as in the case of the privilege of duty free import of motor vehicles, which could become a bottomless pit of privilege.”
While rulers and state workers got tax free or tax slashed cars, oppressed ordinary citizens had to pay taxes of more than 300 percent for an average sized car.
Jayewardene was s senior public servant, who as finance secretary and then as Central Bank governor reformed the central bank itself and laid the foundation to cut budget deficits, combat inflation and prevent the state from impoverishing the poor further.
He also created a market for government securities ending decades of legalized robbery by the state of forced savings of thousands of private