Labour ministry opposes taxing EPF – minister (Video)

Minister of Labour Nimal Siripala de Silva says the Ministry of Labour is vehemently opposed to taxing the Employees Provident Fund.

Speaking in Parliament today, Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa questioned the Minister over his stance pertaining to the 25 percent tax proposed through the Surcharge Tax Bill.

Leader of the Opposition Sajith Premadasa said the country’s current foreign reserves available for importing goods are only sufficient for three weeks.

MP Premadasa said the government has failed to address the matter in the House.

The Opposition Leader said the government has imposed a 25 percent tax on Sri Lanka’s largest fund, the Employees Provident Fund, which is worth Rs.3 trillion, which generates a profit of around Rs.250 billion.

The MP charged the Minister of Finance of attempting to misappropriate funds belonging to the public for implementing the ‘100,000 Projects’ through the Budget rural development programme.

He questioned the Labour Minister whether the government is attempting to misappropriate funds amounting to Rs.65 billion from the EPF.

Responding, Minister de Silva said the Act was not initially introduced through the Gazette Notification but was introduced through an interpretation presented by the Inland Revenue Department that a tax be imposed on profit incurred by the EPF according to provisions of the Inland Revenue Act.

The Minister said the Labour Ministry reached a policy decision that the IRD’s interpretation was incorrect adding they have also informed the Treasury and the Inland Revenue Commissioner of the decision.

Minister de Silva said relevant authorities must provide an accurate interpretation on the matter.

Meanwhile, Chief Opposition Whip MP Lakshman Kiriella requested a debate on the matter as those receiving EPF face double taxation as a tax is imposed when withdrawing the funds, and the Fund will be taxed again on investments.

MP Kiriella said double taxation is against the law.

( / Video : voicetube)

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