Sri Lanka’s Treasury Secretary Mahinda Siriwardana has stated that the current Value Added Tax (VAT) rate will need to be raised from 18% to 20-21% to meet the demands of the public servants who are on strike for a salary increase.

He had made this observation during a meeting at the President’s Office today (08), held under the patronage of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, according to the President’s Media Division (PMD). 

It further said that the government is not prepared to fulfill this demand as it would impose an additional burden on the public. 

At the discussion chaired by President Wickremesinghe at the President’s Office, to address the demands presented by the striking trade unions, it was emphasised that a salary increase this year is not possible. 

However, the 2025 Budget will consider revising public service salaries based on the expert committee’s recommendations on salary disparities, the PMD reported. 

-Ada Derena