Friday, May 28, 2010

Sri Lanka President's move to levy tax from MP's vehicle import permit is a sham

Hummer H2 off roader valued at over US$ 55,000
without duty in Sri Lanka for a VIP son
(May 28, Colombo - Lanka Polity)  Sri Lanka President has proposed to levy a tax of 18% to 20% from the parliamentarians privileged so far to import vehicles once in five years.

This proposal appears outwardly as a progressive move although it actually increases the amount of taxes the politicians can evade. On the other hand, it will also provide an argument for the rulers to rationalize increase of taxes.

The cabinet approved to increase the maximum value of a motor vehicle imported by MPs from $ 35,000 to $ 45,000.

An MP can import a vehicle that is close to the market value of Rs. 20 million in Sri Lanka. It is a public secret that many MPs sell the licence to import a vehicle tax free and pocket a handsome income scot-free.

Average citizens of Sri Lanka have to pay more than 100% tax for motor vehicles. In some instances the tax is close to 200%.

High taxes on buses cause lack of development in Sri Lanka's public transport.

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