Govt. to introduce Estate Duty as a property tax by 2025: RW | Sri Lanka News

The government would introduce Estate Duty as a property tax by 2025, with a minimum tax exemption allowance, President Ranil Wickremesinghe said today.

The President told Parliament that the government was planning to reduce existing tax exemptions on VAT by 2024, remove the simplified VAT system, and expedite its reimbursement. 

President Wickremesinghe said the government was aimsing to reduce the inflation rate to 4-6% and bring it to a single digit by mid-2023. 

“We are planning to reduce the budget deficit and refrain from printing money. The forex market thresholds and guidelines will be relaxed while allowing market criteria to determine its activities. The Central Bank plans to purchase foreign currency to build up foreign reserves,” he said.

The President said that with regard to good governance, the IMF is preparing a report to assess the governance framework and corruption in Sri Lanka, while laws against corruption in line with UN conventions will be drafted, together with a new Public Finance Management bill with strong fiscal policies and laws regarding foreign loans. 

The government plans to make public the list of individuals and institutions who enjoy tax concessions and tax holidays, and large-scale government procurement contracts. These measures aim to increase transparency and combat corruption in the country.

The President stated that he had previously requested the support of the opposition in rebuilding the economy, but did not receive it. “I made similar requests during the opening of Parliament and Budget debates, but to no avail. Despite my efforts, the opposition refused to extend their support citing various reasons,” he said. (Ajith Siriwardana)

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