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COPF calls for analytical report on export levy hike

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The Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill considered at the Committee on Public Finance

Chairman of the Committee of Public Finance (COPF) – Dr. Harsha de Silva instructed officials to the Ministry of Finance that an analytical report be submitted on the increase of export levy as per the Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill which is expected to be passed in Parliament.

The Chairman instructed the above at the COPF held in Parliament on Monday (28) taking up the Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill into consideration.

The Committee also instructed the Ministry of Finance and the Department of Inland Revenue to indicate the expected revenue for each sector by increasing the tax of 14% to 30%.

Furthermore, the chairman of the committee informed to submit a detailed report on the amount of income obtained falling under the respective export sectors in consideration of the previous tax rates.

The committee pointed out that instead of short-term efforts to increase the government’s income by raising export taxes, long-term action should be taken, and export taxes should be collected so as not to discourage exporters who bring dollars to the country. Therefore, the chairman of the committee said that the draft Bill should be considered pertaining to the lowering of the export tax percentage at the committee stage.

Furthermore, the proposed increase in personal income tax was also discussed at the Committee meeting held. The committee informed the officials to present a comparative analysis with the existing conditions of other countries in the region on this regard.

Thus, subject to the above instructions, the Inland Revenue (Amendment) Bill received the approval of the Committee on Public Finance.

Board related to casino regulation

The absence of a separate regulatory board related to casino regulation was also discussed at length. Although the Casino Business (Regulation) Act No. 17 of 2010 exists to provide the necessary legal provisions for the casino business at present, it is not sufficient for regulatory activities including revenue recovery and therefore, a separate regulatory authority should be established under the said amendments was pointed out by the Committee.

Thus, the committee informed the officials of the Ministry of Finance to submit an action plan as previously notified on the matter.

Minister Nalin Fernando, State Ministers Premitha Bandara Tennakoon, Dr. Suren Raghavan, Dr. Seetha Arambepola, Members of Parliament Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, M. A. Sumanthiran, Chandima Weerakkody, Mayantha Dissanayake, Madhura Withanage and Prof. Ranjith Bandara were present at the Committee meeting held.

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Term tests for Western province suspended

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The term tests for grade 10 and 11 in the Western province schools has been postponed after some of the question papers were shared on social media ahead of the examination.

A senior official said that the decision had been taken after complaints that several question papers had been leaked out before the examinations.

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Russian Naval Ship Varyag Visits Colombo

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The Russian Naval Ship Varyag has arrived at the port of Colombo on a formal visit. 

This 187m long Missile Cruiser, manned by a crew of 529, is led by Flag Officer Captain 1st Rank Velichko Anatoly Vasicievich, with Captain 2nd Rank Glushakov Roman Nikolaevich serving as the Commanding Officer.

During their stay in Sri Lanka, the ship’s crew is expected to participate in various programs organized by the Sri Lanka Navy, fostering camaraderie and exploring tourist attractions in the country. 

The official visit will conclude, and Varyag is set to depart from the island tomorrow.

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SL over 60s cricket team ranked 4th in the world

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The Sri Lanka Over-60s cricket team, led by Garry Gunasekara, achieved a commendable 4th place in the recently concluded Over-60s Cricket World Cup in Chennai. 

Twelve teams, including all major cricketing nations except Pakistan and Bangladesh, participated in the tournament.

In the group league stages, Sri Lanka secured victories against India, Wales, and the Rest of the World. 

They also tied with the West Indies and suffered their only defeat to Australia, finishing 2nd in the group. 

Sri Lanka faced England in the first semi-final, resulting in a loss, while New Zealand lost to Australia in the second semi-final. Australia went on to convincingly win the final against England.

In the third-place match, Sri Lanka faced New Zealand and narrowly lost by 20 runs, ultimately securing the 4th position in the Over-60s Cricket World Cup.

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