Written by Tharushan Fernando
07 Jan, 2017 | 8:47 pm
The Joint Opposition warns that the tax losses that will be suffered due to the car assembly plant in Kuliyapitiya will also have to be borne by the general public.
They charge that this would result in the public being burdened with taxes even further.
At the opening ceremony of the Western Automobiles Manufacturing Assembly in Kuliyapitiya on January 3, the Prime Minister said that this plant would generate 2500 new jobs in the future.
“There are only two options at present. One is to bring in foreign investments and create jobs and the other is to steal public funds and get rich, ” said Prime MinisterRanil Wickremesinghe
The agreement reached between the Board of Investment and Senok Automobiles notes that the enterprise shall employ, for the purpose of the project ,only persons who are citizens of Sri Lanka, provided however that foreign nationals whom the enterprise considers necessary and indispensable may be employed with the prior written approval of the BOI.
According to the agreement there is no mention of a number of employment opportunities that will be created.
The agreement goes on to say that the company receives a tax holiday for a period of eight years after which it would be liable to pay 15 percent income tax.
UPFA, parlimentarian Prasanna Rantunga alleged that Ranil Wickremesinghe deceived even the president by laying the foundation stone.
“What did they bring in? It was not the Volkswagen company”, he said
He pointed out that the ‘Sirasa Media Network’ is saying very clearly that this is not Volkswagen, while representatives of Volkswagen also said they have no investments in the country.
He charged that this is just another business to assemble vehicles in the country, and there are such businesses in the country even at present. There is one in the Minuwangoda electorate as well and therefore this is not something new.
He added that ‘they’ have however defrauded from this as well and there are suggestions that 400 vehicles will be brought in without taxes but when this is operational, that tax burden will also be on the people.
Leader of the Podujana Peramuna, Prof. G.L Peiris said that a very valuable plot of land was given to an associate – a businessman – through the Board of Investment and now the prime minister is saying that the Volkswagen company wanted to invest here and that since there were legal issues that investment was rejected.
“Who is going to believe this? This is completely false”, charged the Leader of the Podujana Peramun who added that Volkswagen did not come here and this is a programme to deceive the people of the country.
“This is a great deception similar to the rest”he said
Leader of the Jana Setha Peramuna,Ven. Battaramulle Seelarathana Thero charged that this is complete lie and called on Prime Minister to ask the people for forgiveness with regard to the Volkswagon matter.
He also commented on the Prime Minister’s statements on the media
“Why do you attack News1st, why do you attack media. You must have bought various channels for money to cover up your fraud. But you have not bought News1st. The whole country knows this, ” he said.
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