ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake has proposed the end tax free cars given to the elected ruling cars and state workers, which freedom advocates say will help create tax equity and justice.
“I propose to abolish all the vehicle permits granted under different schemes, including to Parliamentarians,” Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake said in the text of a budget for 2016.
“However, I ensure all government officers will be financially compensated for the benefit foregone.
“Further, all the vehicles purchased to the Government will be subject to all applicable taxes and necessary allocations will be provided in the budget.”
Sri Lanka has operated a feudal style tax system where private citizens were taxes as much 270 percent when buying a car and legislators who made the tax laws in the country were exempt and state workers who collected the taxes only paid part of the taxes.
Such feudal style tax privileges were not operated even during colonial rule. The tax free cars were given in the 1980s. Under President Ranasinghe Premadasa legislators imported BMW’s which became popular among rich people in the country.
Provincial councillors were then given SUV, which later came to be known as the Mitsubishi Pajero Palath Saba model. The United National Party also stopped state workers from paying taxes, which was re-started by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
The President is still exempt from income tax, which remains an unfinished business for campaigners who want to build a free country. (Colombo/Nov20/2015)