The government will soon introduce new legislation -- in the form of an amendment to the Inland revenue Act -- to waive taxes on children’s savings accounts, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera told Parliament yesterday.
“The government’s policy is to gradually reduce the Value Added Tax (VAT) and concentrate on earning revenue from direct taxes. We will manage the economy while focusing on the people’s needs. The government has to deal with the debt crisis because total debt component to be settled this year is a staggering Rs.1.9 trillion. It will be a Rs.4 trillion in the next financial year,” he said.
Responding to remarks made by the opposition that the prices of essential commodities had gone up, the minister said only coconut prices were high at the moment.
“It is true that this government increased the prices of fuel recently, but the prices are lower than what they were during the previous regime,” he said. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)