Five Gazettes to be presented to Parliament for approval were considered in the Committee on Public Finance recently and approval was obtained for four gazettes. This approval was given after an analysis of the relevant Gazettes at the Committee on Public Finance which met recently (20) under the chairmanship of Hon. (Dr.) Harsha de Silva, Member of Parliament.
Thus, the approval of the Committee was obtained for Gazette No. 2282/26, which is stipulated under the Value Added Tax Act No. 14 of 2002 as amended by Act No. 6 of 2005. This Gazette was published in relation to increasing the value added tax (VAT) to 12%.
The regulation under the Excise Ordinance published under the Extra Ordinary Gazette No. 2277/62 was also considered here. This Gazette had been imposed in relation to charging a tax of Rs. 50 for a liter of toddy. The said Gazette received the approval of the Committee.
The regulation under the Finance Act No. 25 of 2003 published under the Extraordinary Gazette No. 2272/53 was also considered and approved at the Committee. This Gazette was published to reduce the fee charged to each person departing from Ratmalana Airport to an amount of USD 30.
Furthermore, under the Foreign Exchange Act No. 12 of 2017, the order published under the Extraordinary Gazette No. 2296/12 was considered at the Committee. Its purpose is to increase the period of 24 months to 36 months mentioned in the order of the Gazette No. 2234/19 published on June 30th, 2021. The officials also pointed out that this decision was taken with the aim of expanding the market for local products as recommended by the Ministry of Industries. But since the foreign exchange spent for the import of these goods is relatively low and the market lack of these goods as well as the increase in price cannot be borne by the common people, it was discussed in the committee that it is not appropriate to control the imports. Accordingly, it was decided to discuss this further at a future meeting.
The committee pointed out to the relevant officials the need to quickly refer these Gazettes for approval.
Minister Hon. Nalin Fernando, State Minister Hon. (Dr.) Suren Raghavan, Members of Parliament Hon. Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, Hon. Mayantha Dissanayake, Hon. Harshana Rajakaruna and Hon. (Prof) Ranjith Bandara were present at this Committee meeting held.