Although tax evasion by individuals and corporates has been recognised as a burning issue, especially in the context of Sri Lanka trying to increase its direct tax take, there is little empirical work on tax evasion for policymakers to make evidence-based decisions when setting tax rates. This is mostly due to limitations in the data. In her research, Harini Weerasekera attempts to measure ‘border tax evasion’, since export and import data is well recorded for the country, and can act as a source of measuring evasion that could be taking place at its border.
Sri Lanka’s flailing export sector gained some breathing space recently with the EU granting its GSP-Plus facility, which was withdrawn in 2010. While it is being touted as a significant achievement for Sri Lanka’s economic drive, this article argues that, its impact will provide only temporary relief. Therefore policymakers as well as the private sector should urgently ensure broader economic reforms in order to make the best use of this opportunity.
This article argues that the ability of Sri Lanka’s forthcoming FTA with China to capitalize on the FTA depends on the country’s capacity to simultaneously address both tariff and non-tariff measures in China.