June 06, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Maithripala Sirisena has ordered the Minister of Finance to scrap the withholding tax imposed on proceeds of tele drama sales under the government's new Tax Act.
The President today gave instructions to the Minister of Finance Mangala Samaraweera to inform the relevant institutions in written not to charge the 14 percent withholding taxes on proceeds of the Tele Dramas sales.
"This tax was levied due to the wrong interpretation of the new tax policy," the President said during a meeting held with the representatives of the associations of cinema and tele dramas, at the Presidential Secretariat today (06).
The representatives apprised the President in detail of the issues faced by them due to the Government’s new tax policy.
The President assured that if there are any obstacles to the progress of the field of art, including the local cinema and tele drama industry due to the new Tax policy, he will take necessary actions to provide relief to those issues after consulting the relevant institutions.
He pledged to provide fair solutions to their issues in a manner which will not harm the new tax policy of the government.
"It is the duty of a government to intervene for the protection and progress of cinema, tele dramas and other forms of art and the current government would not hesitate to take any required decisions for this purpose," he said.
The discussion also covered the steps taken by the government for the protection of cinema and tele drama industries.
The President also inquired into the committees appointed covering all the sections of the field of art as instructed by him earlier and the further steps required to uplift the local cinema and tele drama industries. He inquired into the progress of the work of the committees and insisted the need to complete the programs expeditiously.
Minister Mangala Samaraweera, Wijeyadasa Rajapaksha, Deputy Minister Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Secretary of Ministry of Higher Education J.J. Rathnasiri, and other officials and veteran artistes including Somaratne Dissanayake, Dharmasiri Bandaranayake, Nalan Mendis, Attorney Douglas Siriwardana, Deepani Silva, Chandani Seneviratne, Inoka Sathyangani, were also present in this event.