Sept 13, Colombo: Chairman of the Sectoral Oversight Committee (SOC) on Alleviating the Impact of the Economic Crisis, MP Gamini Waleboda said that he will intervene to take the necessary measures to present amendments to the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) tax in the upcoming budget.
He said this when the met in Parliament last week under his chairmanship to discuss with several trade unions representing the professionals affected by the tax revision process.
In this discussion, the trade union representatives expressed their opinions at length about what was expected from the tax amendments and whether the objectives have been achieved. The representatives said that many professionals have been affected by the amendments made to the PAYE tax in the tax reform.
Finance Ministry officials who participated in the discussion pointed out that the government is still below the expected revenue targets this year through the PAYE tax revision. However, even at this moment, efforts are being made to provide relief to the affected professionals due to the tax revision, said the officials.
The officials of the Inland Revenue Department stated that a special program has been started to add persons who are not involved in the tax process. Accordingly, a new taxpayer group registration program (Bulk Registration) has been planned to start this week.
The committee acknowledged the seriousness of the problem to the extent that professionals left the country due to the tax issue. The Committee, therefore, assured the trade union representatives that the Government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are strongly urged to resolve this issue.
The Chairman pointed out the importance of preparing a policy on how taxes should be imposed for each profession and turning it into a legal document through Parliament in the future or when tax revisions take place.
Accordingly, the chairman instructed the representatives of the relevant trade unions to prepare a report on the revisions to be made to the PAYE tax within two weeks and submit it to the committee.
Members of Parliament Dr. Sarath Weerasekera, Dr Gayashan Navananda, Wasantha Yapa Bandara, representatives of 25 trade unions and independent observers were present in this committee meeting.