Govt. informed IMF that tax percentage cannot be further increased: Wijeyadasa

The government has informed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that the tax percentages can not be increased further at this juncture as requested and that the government was expecting to initiate discussions to request the IMF to reconsider its request, Minister Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe said today.

He told Parliament that the IMF informed the government that tax revenue should be increased to some extent by the end of the first quarter of next year.

The Minister said if the tax revenue is to be increased, the tax percentage will have to be increased and that the government has informed the IMF that people cannot be burdened with more taxes at this juncture.

The Minister said this clarifying matters raised by the Opposition MPs that the IMF's second tranche is delayed as the government has failed to fulfil the conditions of the IMF.

"It is not an issue of not implementing the IMF conditions. The IMF is expecting Sri Lanka to obtain tax revenue to a certain target by the end of the first quarter next year. We have to increase the existing tax percentage to meet that tax revenue targets. We informed the IMF that the government is not in a position to further burden the people with taxes. The IMF stresses the need to increase tax revenue," he said.

The Minister said the next round of discussions with the IMF is to request them to reconsider their request on increasing tax revenue.(Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera)

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