Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake yesterday revealed that the Government has collected Rs. 232 billion as tax revenue from vehicle imports in 2015, the total tax revenue collected by Sri Lanka Customs amounted to Rs. 783 billion, of which one-third was generated through vehicle import duties
He said the Finance Ministry has set a revenue collection target for Sri Lanka Customs worth Rs. 953 billion for this year.
Justifying the duty increase on vehicle imports Karunanayake said: “We have looked at both ends. The increase of taxes would also improve the Government’s revenue considerably.”
Noting that there is a clear downward trend in vehicle imports at present, the Minister noted they are confident of generating a significant revenue collection from taxes on Government institutions.
“Previously, Government institutions did not pay the due taxes, but now they have got into the formal system, hence payment is required. As a result their recurrent expenditure will get couched in,” he explained.
Karunanayake also denied a few news reports which had stated that the Government did not have sufficient money to carry out the development activities.
“We have enough and more money in the Government, but unlike the previous regime the funds have been allocated only to viable projects. Right now we are keen on exploring those potential projects,” he said.