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FPC opposes VAT on fuel over CoL

FPC opposes VAT on fuel over CoL

21 Nov 2023 | BY Sahan Tennekoon


The Freedom People’s Congress (FPC) of the Parliamentary Opposition criticised the Government over the new Value Added Tax (VAT) imposed on petrol and diesel claiming that it could adversely affect the country’s surging living cost.

Speaking at a press conference yesterday (20), FPC member and Parliamentarian Prof. G.L. Peiris said that the public can understand whether the MPs representing the ruling Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna represent the public or the rulers by looking at how they vote in the Budget vote.

Commenting further on the Budget proposals, he said that the imposition of VAT on fuel, as no previous Government had done, may affect the rising cost of living (CoL). Furthermore, he opined that since it was announced that the allowances of public servants will be increased only in April, it is only a future expectation and that no one cannot therefore place any trust on the Government and its proposals.

He further claimed that in order to cover the Budget deficit, the Government has no solutions other than taxation, borrowing foreign loans and selling national assets. Prof. Peiris also alleged that under the guise of domestic debt optimisation, the Government has exploited the Employees’ Provident Fund and the Employees' Trust Fund.

Against this backdrop, according to the 2024 Budget estimates, the Government plans to raise Rs. 2,235 billion from taxes on goods and services, which is substantially higher from the 2023 estimate of Rs. 1,376 billion. Meanwhile, the debate on the second reading of the VAT (Amendment) Bill and the Finance Bill was fixed for 10 December.

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