Govt could fulfil yet another election pledge by regaining GST+ : Harsha

Govt could fulfil yet another election pledge by regaining GST+ : Harsha

The government could fulfill another UNP election pledge by obtaining the GSP+ facility from the European Union, said Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva.

He also said that with the support of President Maithripala Sirisena, the unity government could obtain the GSP+ facility that the previous government deprived the country of. He added as this government had guaranteed good governance, democracy, human rights and the country could obtain the GSP+ facility.

"UNP Leader and Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe worked really hard to obtain the GSP+ facility back," the Foreign Deputy Minister said. "He appointed committees, worked on holidays, worked with the Foreign Ministry, the Cabinet and other involved institutions to get it back. Its benefits would enrich the entire country. This facility is women friendly, youth friendly and rural friendly."

He made these observations yesterday, at a Press conference held at the Sirikotha, the Political Headquarters of the UNP.

Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva further said that the government has decided to grant a depreciation allowance to investors in Sri Lanka to promote investments. He added that the Finance Minister would present the Inland Revenue Act in the near future, which would provide the depreciation allowance for the investors.

He also said that the estimated profit that the country would earn an year due to GSP+ facility is nearly US$ 600 million and it would increase in yearly in future. He added that foreign investors asked as to what the other incentives they could receive to make their investments in Sri Lanka.

"We have to give competitive incentives than countries such as Vietnam, Bangladesh, Malaysia Thailand, etc." Deputy Minister Harsha de Silva said. "So after discussions, we have decided to grant them a depreciation allowance of 100 percent across the country. However, the same allowance would be 200 percent to the investment made in the Northern Province."

The Deputy Minister further said that the employees of the fisheries sector would receive the benefits instantly as the harvest on Friday could be exported to Germany on Saturday to enjoy the 18 percent tax reduction to zero. He added that the tax on garments to the EU is 10 percent, while the tax on miscellaneous edible preparations is 14 percent and all these would come to zero from Friday.

He also said that due to developments in the good governance government, the EU unilaterally opened their gates to our products.

Questioned by a media personnel if the government had a mechanism to ensure that the massive amount of money saved with the GSP+ facility be shared with the employees, the Deputy Minister said that the government hoped so and urge them to do so. He added that however the government could not impose laws on the same matter.(Daily News)

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