Former finance minister Ravi Karunanayake has stressed the need to raise the range of taxpayers, and not burdening the masses with taxes, in order to take the country out of its economic crisis.


Also the UNP leader for Colombo district, Karunanayake said,

“The IMF has been saying for years and stressed this time as well, the need for financial discipline and the support for all in that regard. At this moment, what we should do is increase the range of taxpayers. Increasing the range of taxpayers does not mean burdening those who already pay taxes with more taxes, but getting their numbers increased.”

“In my analysis, the IMF has seen certain weaknesses of ours in the beginning, but westerners need not point out those weaknesses to us. As a country, we reduced the amount of taxpayer files at a certain time. So, what should be done now is increasing the number of those files and collecting more and more taxes. Those tax files should be increased as much as possible for the country’s speedy development.”

“Had the journey we undertook in 2015 gone ahead as planned, this country would never have become bankrupt, but there would have been more tax payments and the country developed too. The country and the people cannot bear up raising the tax burden. What we should do is increasing the range of taxpaying and charging a bearable tax from the people.”

“We cannot raise the taxes on the people by 50 or 60 percent merely because the IMF told us so. People should be able to pay. It should be reasonable. Everybody should contribute too.”

“Small and medium scale businesses have a bearable limit of paying taxes. They cannot stand the considerable increase in interest rates. Everything should be practical. Government officials should know how to discuss and resolve this matter. If we want Rs. 100, we should know how to earn that. Westerners need not advise us on that.”

“The concept of the late president J.R. Jayewardene is the best suited one for the country. In 1977, he took the country to the world through open economy to bring about modernization. At a time when closed economies had collapsed everywhere in the world, he introduced open economy and took the country to the world along with development.”

“What politicians do is boasting only. They attack those who work and those who are capable. If the country is to be revived, all of us should work tirelessly as one. People should be informed as much as possible. Brain drain should be stopped.”

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