President erupts Parliament with sneak preview of Budget 2024

Thursday, 7 September 2023 04:17 –      – 443

facebook sharing button
twitter sharing button
whatsapp sharing button
viber sharing button
sharethis sharing button
  • Announces 2024 Budget will contain proposal to tax primary bond dealers 
  • Says Premadasa should refrain from seeking financial support from companies while criticising them for investing in bonds 
  • Claims proposals to tax 30% on EPF was initiated by SLPP 

President Ranil Wickreme-singhe yesterday announced in Parliament that the upcoming 2024 budget will contain unexpected elements, including a proposal to tax primary bond dealers.

He made this statement in response to an allegation by Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa, who claimed that the Government plans to impose a 30% tax on EPF holders who do not choose to participate in the debt optimisation process, putting them at great risk.

“We intend to impose taxes on primary bond dealers in the upcoming budget, and you can expect some surprises in the 2024 budget,” the President said.

He went on to say, “Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa is criticising companies that invest in bonds, yet he should refrain from seeking financial support from them for various purposes.”

The President also noted that the proposal to impose a 30% tax on the EPF was initially put forth by the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) even before he assumed the role of Prime Minister.

“The Supreme Court has unequivocally affirmed that there is no issue with the Inland Revenue Amendment Bill. The Supreme Court has made it clear that banks cannot take part in the domestic debt optimisation process due to their financial position, given the limited capital they hold,” he added.

“Petitioners who initiated legal action against the Inland Revenue Amendment Bill were unable to substantiate their claims with concrete evidence. It’s worth noting that one member of the finance committee, who was retained by one of the petitioners, also failed to present evidence supporting the argument,” stated the President.

These comments were made in response to a request by Committee on Public Finance (CoPF) Chairman Harsha de Silva, to debate the Inland Revenue Amendment Bill, which includes provisions for imposing a 30% tax on the EPF.