Sri Lanka Chamber Chief says not all private sector cos have ill-gotten gains

Feb. 05, 2015 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Chamber Chief commenting on the slapping taxes on the private sector by the new government, said that not all private sector companies in the Island had ill-gotten gains.

“In terms of concerns on the budget actually yes, some of the one – off taxes will hurt. But if it needed to meet the expenditure, so be it,” Suresh Shah, Chairman of the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce said at a business forum held last Friday.
“But I must also tell my good friend the Minister, that not everyone in the private sector has ill-gotten gains.

“I think a number of us in the private sector do our business very well and I hope that will be appreciated in Going Forward policy of the hew government,”

“That was the fundamental concern that we had, that the private sector might be viewed in the wrong light.” he said.

Sri Lanka’s government’s interim budget 2015, mostly known as Robin Hood or Saradiel budget, was based on the manifesto of President Maithripala Sirisena.

The budget had cut taxes for small cars, food items and increased the salaries of State workers.

However, it also imposed Super Gain Tax on companies, one off levy on mobile telephone operators and direct to home satellite TV providers and others.

Shah said the election promises had been delivered through the revenue measures, which impacted only a small segment of the community and hoped the government would present a budget with sound economic policy and principles in the time to come.

“The way we see the budget is, on one hand it’s been a budget where election promises have been fulfilled as it should be,” Shah said.

“Promises were made. Promises had to be delivered on and in order to meet the expenditure there was a need to generate the revenue and that revenue has been expected to be generated via certain proposals which will touch and impact the smaller segment of the community,”
“So there are few one off taxes, which might be seen by the market as little bit distortional,”

“Having said that, we hope that the budget, in a sense, is a collection of a number of items rather than a meaningful expression of a full economic policy,”

“We do hope that Going Forward, when the next budget is presented, will be based on number of sound economic principles,”

“So, we look forward to working closely with the government in both the economic policy and governance aspects.” he said.