Tax Banditry

Apr 07, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s people are paying tens of billions of rupees to give state jobs to unemployable graduates from state universities where they have also studied at public cost, an official said. Sri Lanka has about 400,000 sitting for university qualifications exams and each year about 20,000 enter universities, and some are unemployable.

“About 5,000 students are coming out of the universities as unemployable graduates,” higher education ministry secretary Sunil Nawaratne said.

“Is it reasonable?”

A few years ago about 40,000 agitated for state jobs setting the stage for a tax banditry operation of unprecedented scale.

Nawaratne said assuming a starting salary of just 15,000 rupees, 40,000 graduates cost 7.2 billion rupees in salaries alone a year.

“And after that, every year we have to pay,” he said. Salaries are raised every year, and after retirement pensions will also have to be paid, he pointed out.

In Sri Lanka already more than 50 percent of all taxes collected from the people go for state salaries and pensions. State workers also get tax slashed cars while ordinary people pay high taxes on their cars.

Nawaratne said not all universities were to bl