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Audio: Casinos won’t develop Lanka’s economy: Harsha

20 June 2013 10:14 am - 12     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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Well-known economist and UNP parliamentarian Harsha De Silva said today casinos, which were being set up in Colombo, were not meant to develop country’s economy because of the huge tax concessions given to the owning companies.

“The Finance Ministry has instructed the Board of Investment to ensure that tax and betting levy concessions are granted to casino companies, if they invest more than Rs.350 million. In most countries casinos are set up to increase government revenue. But how are we going to collect any revenue by giving tax concessions to casino companies,” Dr. Silva said.

He told a news conference that the government had sold a 2.5 acre land just opposite Lake House for as little as Rs.3.6 million a perch to a casino company whereas a perch was sold to Krrish and Sunvilla for Rs.10 million.

“The land was sold to the casino company without calling for tenders or without a valuation report from the government assessor. We won’t allow the government to sell this land at a price which is less than what was estimated by the government assessor,” Dr. Silva said.

Dr. Silva said if the government was going to introduce casinos to Sri Lanka, three conditions must be met -- the appointment of a casino regulator,the imposition of a minimum 40% tax on gambling and hold discussions with all stakeholders.

“If the government is going to introduce casinos to Sri Lanka, it must do three things. First a casino regulator must be established just like all other countries having casinos and they have to abide by very strict rules and regulations of the country. Secondly a minimum 40% tax on gambling must be imposed and thirdly the government must have discussions with all stakeholders including civil society groups and religious leaders on the consequence of setting up casinos,” he said.

Dr. Silva rubbished the Government claim that the setting up of casinos was an integrated development project though it was clearly not so.(Ajith Siriwardana- DM Online)Pix by Kithsiri De Mel

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  Comments - 12

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  • reviewcric Friday, 21 June 2013 06:40 AM

    MP Harsha has a PhD and what he says makes complete sense!! If you aren't taxing the company's that set here! Then whats the point of all this so called development?

    leel Saturday, 22 June 2013 01:29 AM

    why not legal brothels? it is in Thailand too

    BOss Friday, 21 June 2013 09:29 AM

    the country is going to dogs..

    Ranjith Thursday, 20 June 2013 11:58 AM

    For that to be achieved we all have to back the UNP and all other opposition forces. Patriots have to stop supporting thugs, drug smugglers, rapists and mass murderers.

    meranchi Thursday, 20 June 2013 12:09 PM

    if tax free mean what kind of economy they get from the casino holder really rubbish maby money will goes to other pocket.....i

    Ken Thursday, 20 June 2013 10:25 PM

    Another publicity stunt by Harsha the so called Economist

    TreeHouse Thursday, 20 June 2013 10:24 AM

    All the three point mentioned by the honorable MP is valid. This is what they have done it in Singapore too.

    ling Thursday, 20 June 2013 10:40 AM

    Commission already pocketed to somebody bank account, can UNP as a opposition do something if you guys want to topple the government.

    sss Thursday, 20 June 2013 10:49 AM

    You miss one point - no one cares whether it helps or not as long as the powers get their dues

    el Friday, 21 June 2013 08:51 AM

    Harsha de Silva is a clean and honourable politician with in-depth knowledge in economics. We are so unlucky for not having someone like him manage the country's economy.

    chintake Thursday, 20 June 2013 11:57 PM

    Very beautiful heavenly background. I like that

    Paula Jayasuriya Friday, 21 June 2013 03:48 AM

    Looks like some cant bear the truth


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