MEASURES TO REDUCE COST OF LIVING
The administration of Mahinda Rajapaksa, who assumed duties as Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs amidst the recent political upheaval, has announced a string of concessions and promises to reduce the cost of living in Sri Lanka.
Rajapaksa stated that the fuel price formula would be scrapped. Accordingly, the finance ministry reduced the price of petrol 92 Octane by Rs. 10 and Auto Diesel by Rs. 7. Trishaw charges were reduced by five rupees for the first kilometre, the tax on sugar was cut by 10 rupees and the telecommunications levy was reduced by 10 percent.
The administration also claims that it plans to write off the interest and penal interest incurred by some farmers. In addition, the special commodity levy and VAT rate on selected products are to be reduced, while plans are in place to exempt foreign savings and fixed deposits from taxes.