The President’s Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff Sagala Ratnayake said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) representatives have acknowledged the effectiveness of President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s efforts to revive the country’s weakened economy. He added that the IMF is expected to respond positively regarding the release of the IMF first instalment.
Mr. Sagala Ratnayake expressed these views during a discussion held with representatives of trade unions recently at the Presidential Secretariat.
During the meeting, the measures to be taken by the union on March 8th and 9th to protest against the tax levied on earnings withdrawal were also discussed.
Mr. Sagala Ratnayake appealed to the union leaders to take into consideration the current economic situation of the country and requested their assistance in ensuring that essential services and other critical services in the country are not disrupted.
Furthermore, Mr. Ratnayake reassured the union leaders that the Government recognizes the challenges that professionals are facing due to the tax imposition and promised that the Government will review the matter and make necessary amendments in the near future. He also urged the union leaders to refrain from participating in any activities that could destabilize the country, warning that any such actions would have serious consequences for the economy of the country.
The union leaders highlighted that the high percentage of tax levied on their monthly income has made it difficult for them to manage their daily expenses and meet their bank loan instalments. They also pointed out that the recent hike in electricity tariffs has only made the situation worse. As a result, the union leaders requested the Government to reconsider the current percentage of taxation on earnings.
Also, the Union leaders pointed out that the Government could earn a large amount of tax revenue if a program was put in place to seek out the individuals who are evading taxes and capture them in the government’s tax net.
Minister of Power and Energy Minister Kanchana Wijesekera, State Minister D.V. Chanaka, President’s Secretary Saman Ekanayake, President’s Senior Advisor on Economic Affairs Dr. R.H.S. Samaratunga, Director General of Trade Unions Saman Ratnapriya, Chairman of the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation Mohamed Uvais, Chairman of Bank of Ceylon Roland C. Perera, Chairman of People’s Bank Sujeewa Rajapakse, Sri Lanka Ports Authority Chairman Keith Bernard, Trade Union Representatives of the Petroleum Corporation, General Managers of State Banks and Trade Union Representatives of the State Banking Sector, Trade Union Representatives of Sri Lanka Ports Authority were present at this occasion.