Deputy Foreign Minister Harsha de Silva today criticized former President Mahinda Rajapaksa, accusing him of misleading the public, following Rajapaksa’s statement yesterday on the Value Added Tax (VAT) revision.
“Mahinda Rajapaksa, don’t mislead the people, there is no VAT on the any education service,” Silva said in a post published on his official Facebook page.
The deputy minister said that Rajapaksa, who is also an MP for Kurunegala district has once again issued a statement containing a number of untruths, knowing very well that there is no imposition of the new VAT on education services. Silva said that Rajapaksa has attempted to mislead the public saying that fees from ‘nursery school to tertiary level as well as private tuition classes’ will see an increase following the tax revision which will also effect educational services, unlike in the past.
“Come on… be honest… let us debate based on the truth Mr. Ex-President,” Silva said.
In his statement yesterday, Rajapaksa also called upon the people to rise up against the government for imposing additional burdens by way of increasing the Value Added Tax from 11% to 15%, which will come into effect from May 2.
“The government is now trying to increase the VAT rate from 11% to 15% and widen its applicability to hitherto exempt sectors like telecommunications, health and education. This will cause a 4% increase in the prices of goods on which VAT is already being charged and a sudden 15% increase in the costs of telephone and internet services, medical specialist channeling services, medical tests, private hospital care, private education from nursery school to tertiary level as well as private tuition classes. The applicability of the 2% Nation Building Tax has been extended to telecommunications and electricity as well. Telephone and internet services will see the highest price increases as it will be hit by the VAT as well as the NBT. The NBT on electricity will bring in huge revenues because it will be charged from all users of electricity,” Rajapaksa said in his statement issued on Thursday.