Milking Money

The new Govt. will try to squeeze out an extra Rs.10 bn from existing revenue collection channels to meet its increased welfare commitments.
Treasury officials say this could be achieved if revenue collection was made more efficient, while staying within the current tax structure. rn

rnPolitical watchers say the new Finance Minister Sarath Amunugama and his secretary P B Jayasundera are facing a tough challenge in delivering the Alliance governments promises, while keeping the economy on an even keel.rn

rnOfficials say one of the first priorities of the new team would be to achieve the revenue targets in the existing budget.rn

rnFor most of the last decade government revenues fell sharply. The trend reversed in 2002 when revenues rose to 16.8% of GDP. rn

rnBut it was still below the target of 17.5% forecast in the budget for that year. In 2003 revenue again slipped to an estimated 16.3% against a target of 17.1% as the overall economy grew by 5.5%.rn

rnThis year (2004) the government was expe