Harsha Urges Government to Reconsider VAT Measures: Concerns Raised Over Taxation on Essential Goods

December 06, 2023

SJB Member of Parliament, Dr. Harsha de Silva, voiced concerns over the imposition of Value Added Tax (VAT) on essential items such as prosthetic limbs, infant nutrition, diesel, fertilizers, and medical equipment. Dr. de Silva highlighted the apparent lack of fairness in the application of taxes and called upon the government to reconsider its approach, particularly in light of the proposed VAT increase to 18% scheduled for the next year.

Dr. Harsha de Silva, a respected figure in economic and parliamentary affairs, emphasized the impact of VAT on crucial items that directly affect vulnerable segments of the population, including persons with disabilities who require prosthetic limbs. He pointed out that the taxation on infant nutrition items, diesel, and fertilizers could potentially escalate the cost of living for ordinary citizens, adding strain to already challenging economic circumstances.

Of particular concern was the revelation that tax measures were being considered for medical equipment and even ambulances, such as those used in the Suwasariya emergency ambulance service. Dr. de Silva underscored the importance of fairness in taxation policies, urging the government to reevaluate its approach and ensure that essential goods and services, especially those linked to healthcare, remain accessible to the public.

The SJB MP's remarks come as the government announces plans to increase the VAT rate to 18% from the next fiscal year. This proposed hike has prompted widespread discussions on its potential impact on the cost of living and the affordability of essential goods and services.