Taxation
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Cigarette Smuggling in Sri Lanka: Hype vs. Reality

In the run up to elections, Sri Lanka is once again witnessing various news activities highlighting how the government is losing revenue due to increased consumption of illicit cigarettes and beedi. However, the wider government policy on tobacco control is aimed to reduce smoking rates and the related direct and indirect costs – which was estimated to amount to 6% of government revenue in 2015 – through taxation. This blog argues that although controlling the availability of illegal cigarettes in the market is important, this should be done through regulation so that both legal and illegal cigarette consumption remains low in the country.

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Sri Lanka Needs a More Balanced and Holistic Alcohol Policy

Alcohol sales would have no doubt peaked during the last week or so, along with Avurudhu festivities across the country – rural and urban alike. The use of alcohol is embedded in the daily lives of many ordinary citizens in …

A Closer Look at the Fiscal Dynamics of Budget 2014

Sri Lanka stands at important crossroads as it makes a decisive transition into a middle-income economy. With GDP growth targeted at 7.5 – 8% over the medium term, the need for effective fiscal consolidation cannot be overemphasized. In this light, …

The Role of Tax Incentives in Attracting Investment to Sri Lanka: Time for a Re-think?

Based on a new Working Paper by IPS researchers titled ‘Incentivizing Foreign Investment in Sri Lanka and the Role of Tax Incentives’, this article argues that a key medium-term challenge facing the country is to find a balance between providing a competitive tax incentives regime to attract FDI and keeping tax foregone to a minimum in order to preserve domestic revenue.

SMEs and Budget 2012: Strong Steps, but Tax Relief is Half the Story

Yes, tax concessions are a vital component in the SME-strengthening effort, and the Budget 2012 has much to offer for SMEs. But tax concessions should not be thought of as the panacea for the struggles of Sri Lanka’s SMEs. Other issues are often equally constraining, and more needs to be done about them. Ministry of Finance has delivered; it is now time for SME-mandated government institutions to sharpen their focus and address the vital issues