Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chairman Vish Govindasamy (right) presents the copy of its Outlook 2023 to Central Bank Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe. Ceylon Chamber of Commerce Chief Economist Shiran Fernando (right) and CEO/Secretary General Manjula de Silva also present – Pic by Lasantha Kumara
Central Bank Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe yesterday alleged that even the private sector was responsible for the country’s on-going economic crisis and not solely the Government or politicians.
The broadside on the business community by Dr. Weerasinghe was made at none other than the auditorium of the country’s premier private sector lobbyist the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce at the launch of its economic outlook publication.
During the Q&A session of the event, the CBSL Chief argued that the Government revenue shortfall post-election of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was because the private sector wanted taxes reduced.
“Last time some people asked for taxes to be reduced and the country ended up in crisis,” Dr. Weerasinghe said.
He said that even the new tax hikes are being opposed or condemned by the private sector.
In 2021 the total tax revenue to GDP was estimated at a historic low 7.3% and 7.8% in 2022 due to the wide scale tax cuts announced by the President Gotabaya Rajapaksa-regime. The incumbent President Ranil Wickremesinghe regime hopes to increase it to 10.3% this year with the help of recent upward revision in tax rates and new measures.