Speaking at a post-budget seminar organised by Ernst and Young in Colombo on Friday, Treasury Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundera remarked on the country’s tax culture.
Newsfirst was the media sponsors of the seminar which was telecast live on Friday morning. The post-budget seminar saw record participation this year, with 1300 persons in attendance, including prominent business leaders in the country.
Secretary of Ministry of Finance and Planning, Dr. P.B. Jayasundera expressed these views;
“You must build up your habits. You must learn to be in a tax culture. There are still some guys who don’t have tax files and our guys also don’t know how to collect taxes. So, you need time. You guys have it easy. I mean you have tax consultant industry. What are they doing? They look at your balance sheet and tell, don’t pay tax. Not the ordinary people. Those fellows pay, they smoke and pay. They drink and pay. They buy goods and pay. They import wheat grain and pay. You don’t pay. I mean as a society. So in that context, we knew. I mean how many cars are leaked from the customs? Who are they? All of these people. Not us. Those days government supplier was the importer. Now not. Now actually we manage to get some vehicles, those are solid, quality vehicles… duty payable. This culture we knew, but its improving.”