July 10, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is expecting to maintain a 5.8 percent budget deficit target with better tax revenues on the second half of 2013 and continued moderation of current expenses, Treasury Secretary P B Jayasundera said. Sri Lanka’s revenues have been hurt by slowing imports, particularly motor vehicles, but other taxes including value added tax are starting to improve, he told an economic policy forum organized by Ceylon Chamber of Commerce.
Jayasundera said the expansion of VAT to retail was expected to boost revenues.
Over time, tax holidays were also running out and will not be renewed, he said.
Lower income tax rates are also expected to boost total collections.
He said defence expenditure was no longer putting as much pressure on the budget as earlier.
Pricing in state enterprises were also being made more cost reflective, he said.