Cabinet Spokesman, Minister of Transport, Highways and Mass Media, Dr. Khandula Gunawardena said on the 7th that the government’s revenue fell due to the wrong advice given to former President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa to reduce taxes.
The minister also mentioned that only 8.3 percent of the gross domestic product was received as government revenue last year. The minister said that several taxes including the income tax imposed on government employees were reduced during Mr. Gotabhaya Rajapaksa’s tenure, and even the opposition accused that day that the country was led to disaster by reducing taxes that no one asked for.
Mr. Bandula Gunawardena also said that the current economic crisis has arisen due to the failure to do so, even though government revenues should be increased systematically. Mr. Bandula Gunawardena said this while replying to a question raised by a journalist at the cabinet decision notification press conference held yesterday (7) at the Government Information Department.
The minister said that after the decline in government revenue, we should come to an agreement with the International Monetary Fund to settle international transactions and maintain the economy.
The minister said that currently Sri Lanka has filed a case in the United States of America regarding the non-payment of debt, and Bangladesh has been informed that it should pay the debt in September.
The minister also said that if it is possible to reach an agreement with the International Monetary Fund and restructure the debt around the end of this year, the people will be able to provide relief. The minister also mentioned that the government knows that the people are suffering due to the new taxes, but at this time there is no option but to do so.