18 May, 2022


VAT Bill Back In Parliament Today As Government Increases Price Of Cigarettes

Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake announced that the Value Added Tax (VAT) Bill will be presented in Parliament today. When the Bill is passed, the public will be compelled to pay an additional 4 percent in tax, from the current 11 percent.

Ravi Karunanayake

Ravi Karunanayake

Addressing a press conference in Colombo, Karunanayake also announced the price increase of Rs. 7 per cigarette with effect from midnight today.

In April this year, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe made an announcement in Parliament that the VAT will be increased from 11% to 15% with effect from May. However, following a petition by Opposition MP Wimal Weerawansa; the Supreme Court issued an interim order suspending the tax increase mid-July. The tax increase was to become affective after the Government passed the VAT Bill in Parliament, however the government suffered yet another setback in August when the Supreme Court ruled that the government had not followed the correct procedure when presenting the Bill in Parliament and therefore it was null and void.

In September, Cabinet Spokesman, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said that the Government was compelled to increase the tax to 15 percent to pay the Rs. 1.3 trillion loan taken during former President Mahinda Rajapaksa’s term.

When passed, the 15 percent VAT will also be imposed on private health services other than diagnostic tests, dialysis and OPD services.

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  • 3

    Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake

    “Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake announced that the Value Added Tax (VAT) Bill will be presented in Parliament today. When the Bill is passed, the public will be compelled to pay an additional 4 percent in tax, from the current 11 percent.”

    Why not recover the stolen loot from the Mahinda Rajapaksa and Extended Family and Cronies.

    “Addressing a press conference in Colombo, Karunanayake also announced the price increase of Rs. 7 per cigarette with effect from midnight today.”
    Increasing the tax on cigarette and alcohol is all right. Only Fools, Dimwits, and Nitwits consume these items, and poison themselves.

    • 3

      Taxing the poor while the corrupt politicians who have fattened themselves on the National Debt are diving in Tax free Super luxury SUVs and wining and dining in the Parliament of clowns must stop.The corrupt politicians and their cronies must be held ACCOUNTABLE and their assets ceased to pay off the National Debt rather than loading VAT onto poor people.

      Sri Lanka today is caught between the IMF and Chinese loans induced DEBT TRAP because of bi-partisanm SLFP-UNP CORRUPTION, politicians and their corrupt Central Bank appointees, and stupid Finance Ministers and advisors!

      JVP and Anura Kumara must launch a protest march against impunity for financial crimes under Rani-Sir Jara-palanaya, and people should refuse to pay VAT and income tax.

      Those who are responsible for the Mahinda Jarapassa Vanity project called Mihin Air and its massive DEBT that is being loaded onto the people of Lanka must also be held ACCOUNTABLE for their FINANCIAL CRIMES. So too debt at Sri Lankan Airlines and Shranthi Rajapakpasa’s corrupt brother must be held ACCOUNTABLE.

      What are Jarapalaya Ranil and Sira upto – piling VAT taxes onto poor people to pay off the debts of CORRUPT POLITICIANS of the SLFP and keep the corrupt Mahinda Jarapassa family , brothers sons and crooks in luxury villas and SUVs and overseas jaunt?!

      • 1

        The people of Sri Lanka have been made beggars by their corrupt leaders and politicians of the 2 main parties – UNP and SLFP.

        The Mahinda Jarapassa family took corruption and looting and steal from the people of Sri Lanka to unprecedented heights, and a living with impunity under the protection of Ranil-Sira Jarapalanaya govt.

        JVP must SInhala moda masses about their corrupt leaders and the real reasons for the Debt trap, crashing rupee and rising VAT taxes.
        A campaign to reduce the number of Cabinet members and politicains perks and duty free allowances must be the priority to reduce national debt.

  • 2

    Dear Minister ,

    A goose ran over my grave – when I just read this from the daily Mirror , people have no idea at all what state the country is in , The JO is ruthlessly and selfishly ,with zero love for the country and people creating political mayhem just to achieve political revenge.

    The Debt Sri Lankan Airlines alone is $3.25.billion(USD) not damn peanuts , what about the rest of the debts, for good heavens ,how on earth are we to ever survive ?

    what is the state of the so called Middle class and lower a middle class ? how do such people pay the children’s school expenses ? the loans they have taken to build their homes and buy a simple car , few furnitures , and other household products ,which are in no way luxury but simple man’s necessities.

    After paying the monthly commitments whatever little remains they have to manage to feed themselves with simple meals a day ,some have to take care of their aged parents, medical expenses , this segment are the true Citizens who mostly work for private organizations or some are self employed , their children study at private schools , they are zero burden on the country and and the government.
    Please ask on behalf of the people , the JO to stop bickering and fooling the people and find ways to pay off the debts they have incurred on the country which they alone are fully responsible , they enjoyed the super most luxury with it and if they will not let this government find solutions to manage it then they better take the responsibility to pay it back, no need to hand over the country to them , no thanks once bitten twice shy .

    Meanwhile Dear Mr.Minister I plead sincerely on behalf of all the Middle and lower middle class families who are discreetly struggling ,suffering ,but because of the social status they can not get on to the streets and protest like government union members.

    Most of these are respectful young men and women who have struggled and educated themselves and not been a burden to the nation ,have decently planned their families and lives, they are the ones who are effected extremely.

    Please do come up with a solution to help these people to at least temporarily suspend the pending loan’s monthly commitments for a period of one year till the country retracts its economy and waive off some part of the interest on it for such a period (I remember Singapore doing it during melt down )or whatever mechanism that may help , they have no one to turn to, I just can not imagine how on earth these folks are keeping their heads above water.

    Why is not the President using his executive powers to over rule JO’s intentional blocking of correcting the economic mess for which they alone are responsible ?

    Why is the government and the judicial authorities adding insult to injury (of the suffering of the people) by granting freedom and continued luxury for the very people who are responsible for our suffering ,why this sadistic attitude towards the suffering of the people?

    Don’t you Mr.Minister feel that it is your duty to make available to each and every citizen in black and white in all three languages and post it personally to our homes and make available in all medias the exact amount of debts we are in , and mention it in details what got us into it.

    And please tell us how on earth with a bankrupt treasury , dead economy, freely looming drug peddling ,Taxes,duties and levies revenue of the nation robbed daily along with still freely promoting racism and bigotry by shadow rogue politicians to divert the attention of the masses and not to forget the mess the whole world economy is in.

    How do you and your government intend saving the nation before it ends up in the hands of another extremists group who have recently openly threaten to take arms and begin an insurrection to eliminate a particular community whom they believe is responsible for the country’s economic failure ,is this true ? I would appreciate if you will kindly address our concerns and provide us some answers before the whole nation ends up in the hands of another merciless insurgent group which will lead the nation to another bloodbath and a complete destruction of the nation with no return.


    Sri Lankan Airlines, which has taken on lease seven Airbus A330-300s since 2012, has debt of around $3.25 billion.

  • 1

    Dear Minister ,

    Please correct me if am mistaken , do you think by increasing the Vat which will have a direct heavy burden on the already struggling people will help balance somewhat of the deficit ?

    The gdp growth is been forecast for 2017 to 2020 , and it is mainly depended on agriculture , service and Industry .

    Our Agriculture has never improved and never benefitted the economy and the system of subsidies and guaranteed pricing has not displayed any increase in productivity and to date no change has been made to raise the enthusiasm of the farmer for increase and improvements in productivity or to move out its labour from the slavery of this low productivity into product that will bring in large and guaranteed foreign exchange.

    We are a traditionally an agricultural nation, we have the best resources readily available ,from soil, water ,climate and labour .

    Are we going to let petty bigotry under disguise of religious restriction (which is more a fabrication ) and restrict the terminology agriculture to only plant base, when in reality agriculture refers to the science or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products? or be bias with meat product and stick only to a few which has more risk involved and a difficult and controlled market to tap? like the seafood , is a highly controlled market in the sense of food safety procedures,including the mercury level checks and the global industrial players who manipulate it,

    The last regime’s bigotry stance against The Halal Industry , which was actually a farce to only replace the arabic term halal with the HACCP managed by a private company so the corrupt individuals can continue to rob from the poor unsuspecting people.

    This affected the Muslim tourists , strained long time relationships with Muslim countries. if selling alcohol and cigarettes , both which harms the health of the people and raises the cost of free health care of the country and alcohol also destroys families and is prohibited by the very precepts of the very segment who call for the ban of halal meat and meat in general. (which are not part of the religious obligation)

    Indonesia for an example has the largest Muslim population in the world , and where Pork (Pig) is strictly prohibited for Muslims , has a flourishing pig industry , they do not eat it and do not deal in it ,its the people of faiths for whom it is permissible dietary who run these farms for their local community and mainly for large exports .

    So why shouldn’t Sri lanka invite a company like Americana based in kuwait to set up a processing meat plant and exploit the world halal industry? which currently has a market demand value of US$2 trillion and expected to reach US$3.7 trillion by 2019.

    You won’t need to provide subsidies or guaranteed prices and create comfort zones for valuable labour to be trapped and wasted in a particular area of low productivity .

    The only agricultural product that makes money today is poultry and that too I doubt has tapped the export market .


    Will our chicken ever cross the road in this direction The answer is a resounding ‘Yes’, if a favorable and sustainable policy climate and direction can be evolved, along with sufficient motivation and encouragement for Sri Lankan chicken producers.

    Will our chicken ever reach the export market | Daily News
    Jun 16, 2016 – One has to admit that Sri Lanka’s chicken growers aren’t spring chicken at all. Within a single generation, they have made chicken the most …

    Unless and until our leaders and people together stop giving into hypocritical values and exploit the global demand industry without prejudice ,with building the nation in mind , we may be left back in the world.

    people are more interested in starting up industries where we have to depend on foreign raw material, require energy, which we do not posses at all and of course expertise and offer employment to our people at low salary to attract the investor to come and establish here ,so he can exploit our poor with low wages and export the goods produced by their blood and sweat and swallow the whole profit , what is the logic behind it?

    Mr.Minister this is a Multicultural ,secular and 100 % literate populace nation ,can we consider to permit all those who want to engage in meat industry ,including halal for export and the ones who do not want to may refrain , but it is not fair or logical to prevent everyone who has no issue in doing it.
    why not export , rabbit meat , duck , seafood, frogs , including pork. no harm let people decide , if anyone is by his culture and religion is permitted to eat and trade such meat ,please encourage them especially to export .

    We do not need car plants , we do not need to manufacture cars , we need to produce food for us and the world.

    Wishing The government all the best .

  • 0

    Pardon -internet self correcting error .
    Why is not the President using his executive powers to over rule JO’s “intentional” blocking of correcting the economic mess for which they alone are responsible ?

    JO’s “intentional” to be read as -intentionally

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