Sri Lanka’s Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake yesterday alleged that parties calling for the continuation of the Simplified Value Added Tax (SVAT) are small companies which are engaged in fraudulent activities. “The big people are not mentioning. It is the small guys who are trying to fraudulently use this (SVAT) who have the bellyache,” Karunanayake told a media briefing. He further added that the issue is ‘only a cash flow issue’, and that the Revenue Administration Management Information System (RAMIS) can instantaneously process VAT payments and refunds.
However, contrary to Karunanayake’s claims, lobby groups such as the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association and the Exporters Association of Sri Lanka, which contain most of the large exporters, have been calling for the continuation of SVAT in parallel with RAMIS or to continue SVAT till RAMIS is fully operational. Karunanayake assured t h a t RAMIS wil l be f u l l y o p e r a t i o n a l b y January 1, 2017.