He pointed out that this tax introduced by the Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera in his 2018 budget will be removed after three years.
The Minister made this clarification in response to a query made in this regard by Sri Lanka Mirror.
Minister Wickremeratne said this tax which was imposed in order to repay the debt burden left by the previous regime, will in no way have any impact on ordinary citizens.
Debt of 7,000 billion!
“The Sri Lankan government has a huge debt burden to settle within the next three years which amounts to Rs. 7,000 billion. To this Rs. 6,000 billion should be included as maturity each year.
Currently we need Rs. 1,970 billion for debt payment just for 2018. Hence we needed to go for an alternative without reducing state investment. That was the reason the new tax was imposed. It will be implemented from April 01, 2018,” said Wickremeratne.
The debt mountain worse than the Meetotamulla garbage mountain….
Presenting the budget, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said the debt mountain left behind by the Rajapaksa regime is far worse than the garbage mountain the government had inherited by the current regime. Hence this tax had to be introduced.
Section 286 of the budget amply explains this situation and accordingly, Rs. 7,000 billion has to be repaid within the next three years while Rs. 6,000 billion is also applicable annually as maturity of Sovereign international bonds.
Rs. 1,970 billion has to be paid as debt repayment for the year 2018 alone.
This excessive debt burden is bound to have a huge impact on state fiscal sector, but state investments cannot be compromised for the coming year either.
Hence, this tax will be charged from financial institutions from April 01, 2018, but it will not be allowed to burden the general public.