The Business Chamber of Commerce, in a statement yesterday congratulated President Mahinda Rajapaksa on his presentation of a development oriented budget to take the country forward on a rapid track to economic advancement. Following are excerpts from its statement:
“The government has not only looked at the external economy but also deeply at the development of the urban and rural economy, also the government has taken into consideration the difficulties confronting especially the employees of the state sector.
“We appreciate the simplification of the tax structure and the lowering of applicable rates with special concessions to the export and manufacturing sectors, where significant value addition is created.
“Our proposal is that the widening of the tax base is an important aspect of the taxation policy. We find it inequitable, that there are only 300,000 tax files in our population of over 20 million and propose that the tax base files should increase from 300,000 to one million within the current budgetary year.
We propose that every operating business establishment should display a tax registration certificate in their premises, so that every individual person involved in any type of business is a tax payer, even if the tax payment is Rs.100 a year, as he becomes a tax payer in society and gets absorbed in the tax culture.
“We also appreciate the government incentives to the financial institutions, but we find the banking sector is earning at the expense of the industrial and commercial sectors and it should be realised that the banking sector is a service to these sectors, and should earn in a way that is equitable, as the banking sector has no role to play if the industrial and commercial sectors are impoverished.
“We appreciate the methods to be adopted by the government to counteract the growing and inimical practices of the shipping industry, which as the government observes, causes serious harm to our competitiveness.
“The government has also allocated 200 billion on Human Resources development.
This is indeed a notable attempt to raise the level of standards in respect of Human Resources and we appreciate the government’s endeavour in this concern.
“We wish the President success in the implementation of his budget proposals and fulfillment of his vision to achieve economic advancement for his people.”