President Ranil Wickremesinghe, delivering the government’s policy statement in parliament today, said he is ready to make politically unpopular decisions, such as introducing new tax policies, to put the country back on track.
“I am not here to be popular. I am ready to make unpopular decisions for the sake of the country. People will realize the importance of these decisions in two to three years.”
Mentioning that due to the excessive tax reliefs granted in late 2019, tax revenue dropped drastically, the President pointed out that those who issued a clarion call for tax policy revision are now taking issue with it.
Some people are urging the government to increase the income tax threshold from Rs. 100,000 to Rs. 200,000, while some want the PAYE tax abolished, the President continued, explaining that the country will incur a loss of Rs. 100 billion if the PAYE tax is scrapped. If the income tax threshold is brought down to Rs. 200,000, the country will lose Rs. 63 billion. The country cannot afford to lose income tax revenue to the tune of Rs. 163 billion, he added.
Recalling the peak of the crisis situation last year during which severe shortages of essential items, long queues for domestic gas and fuel, daily power cuts of more than 10 hours, the President said the pressure people felt back then is now eased as a result of the measures taken in the recent past.
The economy is stabilized to a certain extent, however, this journey has not been easy and it is yet to come to an end, President Wickremesinghe continued, reiterating that the government has been able to safely guide the country a long way across a challenging course.
Urging everyone to keep working to steer the country towards a brighter future, President Wickremesinghe underscored that it is the responsibility of every citizen to build a country where the country’s younger generation can live freely.
Source – Adaderana.lk