The SLFP has requested Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe and Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake to make several amendments to the VAT Bill which was scheduled to be presented in Parliament on Thursday. The SLFP had warned that they will not support the bill, if the amendments were not incorporated to the bill.
Following the SLFP stand, Wickremesinghe and Karunanayake has decided to incorporate further amendments to the bill and then present it in Parliament. If passed in parliament, the bill will become a legislation and the public will have to pay an additional 4 percent of VAT from the current 11 percent.
In April this year, President Maithripala Sirisena said that any economic advisor who suggest a tax increase which will burden the public will be sent home. However, since then he has remained tight lipped about the tax increase.
In May, the government increased VAT from 11 percent to 15 percent, however following a petition by Opposition MP Wimal Weerawansa; the Supreme Court issued an interim order suspending the tax increase mid last month. In the event Parliament passes the VAT bill, it will become a legislation and the Supreme Court order will have no effect.