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.
As Sri Lanka is looking to reform its education sector, the 16th Edition of the Talking Economics Digest centers on the theme of ‘Creating a Knowledge-based Economy.’
Sri Lanka is committed to establishing a National Single Window (NSW) for international trade as a policy priority. This blog by Janaka Wijayasiri explores the different options for the country’s NSW operational model. A policy decision in this regard will help determine sources of funding for the project, its implementation, budget, and fees to be charged for the services provided by the NSW operator.
Diversification of the export basket, a more effective communication strategy to build support for reform initiatives, and addressing the skills constraints of the labor force are the top priorities for Sri Lanka. This blog, based on the closing session of the Saman Kelegama Memorial Conference, discusses the stifling bottlenecks that Sri Lanka faces in its transition towards a high middle income country (HMIC) and how to overcome them.
Given the necessity to simplify trade procedures, Sri Lanka has identified the implementation of a Single Window (SW) for trade as a national priority and currently a blueprint is being developed. IPS researchers argue that more advanced SWs takes time, money, and effort. Thus, it requires a careful cost-benefit analysis, as well as managing expectations of all stakeholders, given the time frame for implementation, capabilities and resources available in Sri Lanka.