Time to Tax

Sri Lanka needs to operate at its full tax revenue potential to break away from donor clutches and implement its own polices. Sri Lanka needs to operate at its full tax revenue potential to break away from donor clutches and implement its own polices. Treasury Secretary says tax collections at present are nowhere near their potential.

Tax revenue has been climbing as a percentage of GDP from the 13 percent low of last year.

A one percent increase in revenue translates into Rs. 20 billion in extra revenue. So far this year revenue is up 24 percent although still below budget targets. But Treasury Secretary says Inland Revenue has a larger role to play.

“This department has a pivotal role. If Sri Lanka has to manage its own policies, manage its economy- this dept has to make revenue. Otherwise you will end up in donors; end up in IMF and end up doing what others ask and there won’t be any maneuverability. Being a country entering the US$ 1000 per capita income needs a solid balance sheet,” says Jayasundera.

Commercial borrowing also pushes the price higher for everybody and preempts resources from the private sect