Written by Tharushan Fernando
07 May, 2016 | 8:57 pm
An internal circular has been distributed to increase the water usage charges commencing Saturday morning in line with the tax amendments that came in to effect from May 2..
Forty six (46 percent) of the total population in Sri Lanka use tap water. In this situation it is expected that the tax amendments will have a grave impact on the consumers.
During the recent days , the increased tax being added to the water bill was debated in Parliament.
“When one opens the water tap today, what is heard not the sound of gushing water but the sound of added VAT. Fifteen percent VAT has been added from the matchbox to the coffin”, charged UPFA MP,Sisira Jayakody
The National Water Supply and Drainage Board has issued a circular that depicts the manner in which the tax will be added to the water bill.
The charge for the usage of 10 units from a house that comes under the domestic category was Rs.204.80 cents and with the added tax , the charge is Rs.212.18.The charge for the usage of 15 units from a house was Rs.309 rupees. 69 cents and with the added tax , the charge is Rs.320.85 cents.The previous charge from a house that uses 20 units was Rs.519.48 cents and with the added tax the charge is Rs.538.20.
The existing charge for the use of 30 units under the domestic category was Rs.1520 70 cents while with the added tax the charge is Rs.1575. 50.
Chairman of the National Water Supply and Drainage Board, Alahudeen Anzar that the treasury is to make decision as to when a tariff table for all categories in the Water Board will come in to effect
“That is the policy of the government”, said the Chairman
In line with this move, the charges for the trade category and all other water consumer categories have been increased.
State Minister Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena commented on the matter on Saturday. The Minister said that the VAT will not remain at this rate forever but will drop eventually when Sri Lanka receives financial aid in the near future.
“We will receive the the IMF loan in June”, said the State Finance Minister who pointed out that thereafter the Asian Development Bank will grant loans and aid and this foreign aid will give more value to the Sri Lankan economy. He stated that when the economy is strengthened in the future, matters like VAT reduce
However, when looked into the issue it was revealed that the tax amendments have not been included in to the electricity bill.
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