Friday, December 8, 2023

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 20/11

  1. Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva says the 2nd tranche of the IMF facility is anticipated in December’23: it’s now 18 months since Sri Lanka reached out to IMF, but has so far received only USD 333mn from the IMF and no loans from any bilateral development partners: in contrast, in the 18 months prior to reaching out to the IMF, SL received USD 4,950mn from bilateral development partners.
  2. “Lawyers’ Collective” emphasizes that appointments by the President to superior courts in consultation with the Chief Justice & as approved by the Constitutional Council must be on merit & integrity, rather than merely on seniority: request a prompt response to recent allegations of abuse of judicial office against the President of the Court of Appeal by the Sports Minister.
  3. Govt proposes removal of a host of VAT exemptions in accordance with the IMF dictates: items include books, magazines, journals & periodicals, fruit seeds, public library services, mobile phones, computers & accessories, construction activities, rice milling & milk processing machinery, hi-tech medical equipment, machinery for leather or bag industries, taxi meters, agricultural machinery & parts, items & spares for poultry industry, energy-saving bulbs, media equipment, motorcycles, raw materials for spectacles & frames, electrical goods, dairy & rice products, sugar, jewellery, software, and machinery & accessories for renewable energy generation.
  4. Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) informed that nearly 200,000 new tax payers have been registered in 2023 so far: COPA also urges the expeditious upgrade to the Revenue Administration Management Information System (RAMIS).
  5. Senior official from the Dept of Railways reveals that a staggering number of 45,000 train journeys were cancelled in the past 10 months and an average of 150 daily scheduled train journeys continue to face cancellations: the reasons said to be several issues within the Dept.
  6. Treasury to insist that the incentive paid to Inland Revenue Dept officers should be paid only after they fulfill the Revenue targets set by Govt: move comes in the wake of IRD officials claiming up to Rs. 453mn as incentive payments due to them for collecting taxes: Treasury also directs the IRD to open 30,000 new tax files next year with a revised income target of Rs. 2,200 bn.
  7. Govt has set up a unit to be known as the Office for Overseas SL Affairs under the Presidential Secretariat to attract the SL Diaspora to invest in the country on “favourable terms” to uplift the economy.
  8. Deputy Head of Mission of the Embassy of Japan in Sri Lanka, Katsuki Kotaro says there is a “marked improvement in the economy” since the crisis: analysts point out that SL is suffering from a “marked deterioration” of it’s macro-fundamentals with severe negative growth, acute loss of livelihoods, huge spike in unemployment, unbearable cost of living, and rapid increase in hunger, poverty, and malnutrition.
  9. Chanaka Perera, 29, the country’s top ranked Golfer, to represent Sri Lanka at the 122nd Amateur Golf Championship of India.
  10. Sports Minister Roshan Ranasinghe says SL Cricket has informed the ICC that the Board of ICC will need to advice the Minister that the ICC would be compelled to suspend the SL Cricket board if an Interim Committee is appointed by the Minister.

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