Thursday, March 30, 2023

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 09/02

  1. President Ranil Wickremasinghe reopens Parliament: says he is ready to take unpopular decisions for the sake of the nation: asserts people will realise the importance of those decisions in 2 to 3 years: also says if PAYE tax is abolished, the country will lose Rs.100 bn.
  2. Police say the CID has recorded a statement from former President Gotabaya Rajapaksa over the recovery of Rs.17.85 million in cash from the President’s House on 9th July 2022.
  3. Cabinet approves Census and Statistics Dept intention to “update” the CCPI and NCPI with “new base years and new expenditure weightages” with effect from Jan’23: the re-based indices to be “based on consumer spending in 2019”: re-basing exercise expected to “have a positive impact on inflation calculations”.
  4. Cabinet Spokesperson and Minister Dr Bandula Gunawardana says the Govt
    could renegotiate with IMF on exempting allowances other than salary payments of state employees from personal income taxes: also says the staff agreement with IMF is not final.
  5. President’s Office says the Govt spent only Rs.11 mn on the 75th National Independence Day celebrations this year, which is less than the estimated amount.
  6. Govt takes step back to exempt some allowances for individuals for fuel, drivers and vehicles: Inland Revenue Dept issues circular to that effect: previously, non-cash benefits were added to compute PAYE tax and the move resulted in most Govt employees getting into the tax net for the first time.
  7. President Ranil Wickremasinghe says Sri Lanka will remain bankrupt for at least 3 more years while he works “to repair the battered Govt finances following an unprecedented economic crisis”: in May’22, CB Governor Dr Nandalal Weerasinghe said “the economy will stabilise in 3 months”.
  8. Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa says only the SJB can solve the issues faced by people: asserts the current administration can’t provide people with their
    basic needs: also says the Govt can only increase taxes and tariffs and the people are suffering.
  9. Central Bank suffers 2nd consecutive weekly setback at the Treasury Bill auctions: able to sell only Rs.53.6 bn out of the original offer of Rs.100 bn: interest rates mainly static at 91-day T-Bills at a staggering 29.88%: 182-day at 28.72% and 364-day at 27.72%.
  10. Market sources say Securities and Exchange Commission is now headless since the resignation of its Chairman Viraj Dayaratne a month ago.

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