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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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Apple is the world’s first $1 trillion brand: Kantar

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Kantar BrandZ’s Top 10 Most Valuable Global Brands 2024 has named Apple as the world’s first trillion-dollar brand, holding onto pole position for the third consecutive year. 

Google, Microsoft, and Amazon join Apple atop the rankings, with McDonald’s rounding up the top 5.

Demonstrating how effective AI has become for driving brand value, NVIDIA has lept 18 places to crack the top 10 for the first time, holding sixth position with a 178% year-on-year brand value increase. 

Facebook rejoined the Top 10 after a one-year absence, while Oracle joined the Top 10 for the first time. 

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The G7 Summit begins today

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Leaders of the Group of Seven (G7) countries are meeting for a three-day summit, starting today (13 June) to discuss global affairs in the southern region of Puglia (Apulia), Italy.  

Heads of state of the seven members – the United States, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Canada and the United Kingdom – as well as the chiefs of the European Council and the European Commission will be present at the event.

Italy, the host of this year’s event, has extended an invitation to more than 10 other countries for sideline discussions. These include UAE’s Mohamed bin Zayed, Algeria’s President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, Jordan’s King Abdullah II and Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Notable absentees are Egypt and Saudi Arabia, who it  is reported, had been invited.

Support for Ukraine is top of the agenda. President Volodymyr Zelenskyy is scheduled to arrive on the summit’s first day for two sessions dedicated to the war-torn country. The G7’s most anticipated outcome is an agreement over a $50bn loan for Ukraine backed by profits accrued on Russian assets frozen in the West. 

The war on Gaza is also expected to dominate talks. 

Pope Francis will also be among the guests – the first time a pontiff has been invited to the summit – for a session dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI). Other specific sessions will be on migration, financial issues and the situation in the Asia Pacific. 

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University applications open tomorrow 

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The University Grants Commission (UGC) has announced that online applications for university admissions for the academic year 2023/2024 will open tomorrow (14 June).

Applications will be available from 6 am tomorrow at www.ugc.ac.lk
The application deadline is 5 July 2024. 

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