Tuesday, December 12, 2023

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Record Tax Collection Projected as Government Nears Rs. 3,000 Billion Mark

W.M.G. Kumaratunge, Director of the Presidential Secretariat Economic Development Stabilization Unit, revealed that as of last Friday, the Government had amassed Rs. 2,394 billion in revenue. With nearly 30 working days remaining in the year, the projection is to surpass the unprecedented Rs. 3,000 billion mark, setting an all-time record.

During a special post-Budget session organized by the State Ministry of Finance, Kumaratunge attributed this milestone to the adoption of new IMF guidelines, an expanded taxpayer base, enhanced operational efficiency, and rigorous government oversight.

Highlighting the revenue contributors, Kumaratunge noted that the Inland Revenue Department led the collection, accounting for Rs. 1,415 billion, constituting 84 percent of the total tax revenue. Sri Lanka Customs followed with Rs. 1,667 billion, and the Excise Department with Rs. 217 billion.

Expanding on revenue generation, he projected the government’s total tax and revenue collection to exceed Rs. 3,063 billion by year-end, aiming for even stronger revenue figures in the coming year.

In a related context, State Minister for Finance Shehan Semasinghe clarified that while individuals are required to initiate a tax file during specific transactions like vehicle registration, land transactions, or obtaining revenue licenses, not all will continuously pay taxes. The Inland Revenue Department will assess and exempt certain individuals from tax obligations.

Adding to the discussion, Dr. P.K.G. Harischandra, Director of the Central Bank Economic Research Department, forecasted a positive economic growth rate of approximately 1.6 percent for Sri Lanka starting from the third quarter of 2023. This follows a period of negative growth, around 6.8 percent, in the initial two quarters of the year.

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