Sri Lanka state workers take home 56-pct of tax revenues in 2012

Chief Regulatory Officer at CSE Renuke Wijayawardhane presenting the listing certificate to Executive Chairperson at Renuka Hotels Shibani Thambiayah

June 11, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s state workers and pensioners have taken 56 cents out of every tax rupee collected from the people in 2012, not counting tax slashed car permits, official data shows. An analysis by the finance ministry shows that in 1.79 public sector workers took home 348 billion rupees in salaries and wages in 2012.

Other benefits including fuel, property loan interest and provident and medical insurance costs took the total up to 415 billion rupees.

When 111 billion rupees in pensions to 514 retirees were added up the state worker cost went up to 516 billion rupees.

Last year total tax revenues rose 7.4 percent to 908 billion rupees despite an economic slowdown, new value added and import duty exemptions given to political powerful business and tax-arbitrage opportunities provided to inefficient ‘import substitution’ business.

This indicated that 56.7 cents out of every tax rupee collected went to maintain the island’s bloated public sector.

The finance ministry report estimated that the tax loss of tax slashed car permits given to state workers in 2012 to be 25 billion rupees, which pushed the cost of the public service in 2012 to 541 billion rupees, or