Former and Current Ministers, Politicians' Business Associates Default on Rs. 650 Billion Loans.!

-United National Front Leader Patali Champika Ranawaka Claims

(Lanka-e-News -22.June.2024, 9.10 PM) United National Front Leader and Member of Parliament Patali Champika Ranawaka has alleged that ten business associates of former and current ministers, as well as politicians, have defaulted on loan payments amounting to Rs. 650 billion from two state banks.

Ranawaka pointed out that as a result, ordinary people are now unable to obtain loans from these banks. He highlighted that despite the public facing severe economic hardships due to multiple taxes, the government is still working to increase state revenue through the introduction of two new types of taxes.

Ranawaka made these statements during a recent public meeting in Homagama. He further elaborated on his views:

"Taxes have been imposed on our food and fuel. Now, there's a new proposal called a property tax. Two more types of taxes are on the way. One is the property tax, which will be levied based on the value of houses, vehicles, and lands. This is not the same as land tax. Even if we generate wealth from our homes, gardens, or vehicles, we will still have to pay taxes. This is scheduled for after the elections, meaning next year. Additionally, there are certain inheritances we receive from our parents, especially women receiving jewelry from their mothers, or valuable items like elephant tusks handed down through generations. There will also be taxes on these inherited items.

4200 Tax Evaders Owing Over a Million

The country's top businessmen have been granted tax exemptions exceeding one crore. If these exemptions were not granted, there would be no need for the new taxes imposed on January 1st, which are expected to generate Rs. 65 billion. There are 120,000 tax evaders, and 4,200 of them owe more than one crore. The government does not seem to have the will or courage to collect taxes from these 4,200 individuals. This is not how a government should operate. The correct approach is to collect taxes from those who can afford to pay them.

I say this with responsibility: I challenged in Parliament that if they claim it's impossible to collect these taxes, give us six months, and we will show how it's done. We don't need to impose excessive new taxes. There are 23 businesses in the alcohol industry; five of them haven't paid taxes. The government doesn't have the courage to suspend their licenses. Finally, we managed to suspend all but two, who then paid all their dues. The government should have the backbone to collect taxes from these defaulters, amounting to Rs. 7 billion.

When we go to the banks today, we can't get loans. The interest rates announced by the Central Bank Governor aren't available. Why? Because the banks are burdened with Rs. 650 billion in defaulted loans from state banks. Who are the defaulters? A powerful minister and many former ministers and influential figures. These people don't pay taxes or repay bank loans. What happens? The ordinary poor people who have deposited less than Rs. 5,000 in banks suffer. This isn't right.

We appreciate the President's effort to stabilize the economy, but it should have been done differently. Instead of burdening the 220,000 poor families with heavy taxes, we should present an alternative plan for the country."

-By A Staff Writer

by     (2024-06-22 15:57:55)

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