Thursday, July 18, 2024

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Sri Lanka Original Narrative Summary: 18/06

  1. President Ranil Wickremesinghe assures the proposed Imputed Rental Income Tax should not cause concern, noting that it would impact only 10% of homeowners and property owners: acknowledges the importance of broadening the tax base and enhancing tax administration efficiency: affirms the government’s commitment to these objectives, signalling openness to discussions on expanding the tax net and improving tax administration practices.
  2. Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa says President Ranil Wickremesinghe asserted the process of new tax regime aiming the quantitative rise of the state revenue in the shortfall of state revenue and targets: urges the government to implement a transparent taxing system: proposes a more efficient and transparent taxing system by digitising it, thereby paving the way for tax evaders to be tracked and included upon.
  3. Former Senior DIG Ravi Seneviratne says the Easter attack could have been ‘easily avoided’ if accurate intelligence had been shared with the CID: blames the State Intelligence Services and Directorate of Military Intelligence for misleading investigations: also criticises the transfer of key officers after Gotabaya Rajapaksa became president, which he believes hampered the investigation and protected high-profile individuals: Seneviratne recently pledged his political allegiance to NPP openly.
  4. The Ministry of Justice, Prison Affairs, and Constitutional Reforms has spearheaded significant legal reforms since 2022, passing 59 reforms with 7 draft laws and 44 amendments pending: highlights include expanding Supreme Court judges, establishing Commercial High Courts, and enhancing judicial digitisation: aims to boost economic growth through improved legal frameworks and governance.
  5. Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena discloses the Supreme Court’s verdict on the proposed ‘Sri Lanka Telecommunications (Amendment) Bill,’ asserting that the Supreme Court has found several clauses of the Bill to be unconstitutional: Consequently, these clauses will necessitate a special majority in Parliament for approval: However, the Court indicated that if the contentious clauses are amended, they could pass with a simple majority.
  6. The IMF has highlights the necessity of upcoming tax adjustments in Sri Lanka to bolster national reserves: These reforms, aiming for 15% of GDP by 2025, follow significant strides in tax policy during 2023-2024: IMF’s Peter Breuer notes Sri Lanka’s unique fiscal challenges, contrasting them with global economic strategies: stresses the need for effective debt restructuring and broad creditor participation to ensure sustainability.
  7. Election Commission Chairman Rathnayake cautioned against premature election date announcements by political parties, asserting sole authority under the Constitution: NPP’s Anura Kumara Dissanayake and Tourism Minister Harin Fernando proposed September 28 or October 5 for polling, prompting Rathnayake to clarify Commission’s post-July 17 decision-making period within September 17 to October 17 for elections.
  8. Special transport services are aiding pilgrims visiting Mihintale Temple for Poson Poya: Sri Lanka Railways launches a free train from Anuradhapura supervised by Minister Bandula Gunawardena: Bus services are also available due to rail maintenance, with 400 extra buses between Mahawa and Anuradhapura: The Ministry of Buddhasasana has organised Poson Poya events till June 24.
  9. Police throw water cannons to disperse a protest by unemployed graduates near Diyatha Uyana, Parliament Junction, today (18): Simultaneously, a protest march by university non-academic staff on Lotus Road, Colombo Fort, caused road closure and severe traffic congestion: The University Trade Union Joint Committee (UTUJC) organised the latter demonstration.
  10. Sri Lanka finishes their 2024 T20 World Cup campaign with an emphatic 83-run victory over Netherlands at Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium, St. Lucia: This win, led by Charith Asalanka’s explosive 46, marked their first victory after defeats and a rain-abandoned match: Asalanka praised the team’s effort in achieving a challenging total.

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