Sri Lankan government has lost a total revenue of Rs 1,600 billion this year due to COVID-19 pandemic, Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa told Parliament today.
Speaking during the debate on regulations imposed under the Financial Bill and Export Import Control Bill the Minister said 70% of indirect tax revenue has been recorded since the current lockdown was imposed. “The revenue received from the Inland Revenue Department, Customs and Excise Department had gone down drastically because of the lock down,” Mr. Rajapaksa said.
“Total revenue has dropped drastically compared to expenditure. This is not totally due to the pandemic as Sri Lanka’s state expenditure has exceeded the revenue for centuries,” he said at the same time.
“ We have decided to use foreign assistance with utmost diligence and will only work with institutions such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank and will only for concessionary loan schemes. Sri Lanka will not agree to political based conditions any doner would impose when it comes to external borrowings,” the Minister added.
“Government is not prepared to face the crisis situation and is prepared to work with the opposition in dealing with is financial crisis,” he also said.