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Suggestions for the forthcoming budget
The electricity and water bills are a burden to the poor and middle
class households. Some have overcome the problem by partitioning their
houses and getting extra meters fixed. But this is not something
everybody can do because many hurdles are encountered. A relief to the
consumers can be brought about if the jumps in the billing systems are
removed. I suggest a model such as this, for the electricity bill. Let
the fixed charge be Rs. 100/= charge Rs. 10/= per unit for the first 10
units. Increase the rate by Rs. 1/= for intervals of 10 units. A similar
pattern can be followed for the water bill too. Reduction of
unproductive connections for the water bill, electricity bill and LECO
will come as a by product.
Liquor is one of the most highly taxed items. If the tax on both
local and foreign liquor is halved it will have some effect, as there is
a limit to liquor consumption. The money thus saved will go to the
family budget resulting in better food and clothing for the family. It
will attract consumers of illicit brew to less harmful liquor and
contribute to State revenue. Parallel to this excise duty on ethanol has
to be increased and the flow of duty free liquor into the country must
It is said that banks write off bad debts and the law prohibits the
publication of the names of defaulters. It is fair for the government to
impose a penalty on the banks in proportionate to the amount written
At present some public servants are entitled to car permits. Some of
them buy the vehicles, while others sell them. Certainly those
hardwarking public servants deserve to be rewarded but it is more
ethical if they are given a bonus or an allowance instead of car
permits. Let every citizen in this country pay the same price for a
vehicle. Taxes should be based on the landing value of the vehicle
rather than other criteria.
If a trader makes a 100% profit or anything close to that we brand it
as blackmarketing. Drawing a parallel, we can say it is good governance
if the tax limit is kept below 100% and for for food and medicine it
should be 0%.
I am an aging pensioner. At last the long-awaited revision came. But
we are not happy about the withdrawal of the Rs. 3,500/=allowance. We
hope that it will be restored soon.
Among the aged there are many whose only source of income is the
interest on investment. Compromising between the manifestos of two
leading parties on senior citizensí FDs will be beneficial to them. In
addition to the prevailing Rs. 1 m at 15%, I suggest another 0.5 m at
12% for over 60, 1.0 m at 12% for the over 65s and 1.5 m at 12% for the
over 70s will be most welcome.
Bouquet for Director General Bribery Commission
Three senior officers of the Customs Department were nabbed by the
Bribery Commission while taking a bribe of Rs 125Million. The public is
well aware that the Customs Department is one of the most corrupt
government organizations in the country but no tangible action either to
eradicate or control corruption has taken place.
The money that was about to exchange hands was colossal and should
have really gone into the development of the country. This is just one
Government Department that is in the public eye. There are many other
State Departments that are corrupt. All these organizations must be
closely monitored and corrupt officials should be brought to book.
Meanwhile, there are some in the State sector and private sector who
are dedicated and work honestly but are not monetarily rewarded. Their
honesty and dedication goes unnoticed and are paid measly salaries.
But this dedication is of no use because of rampant corruption in the
We thank the Director General of the Bribery Commission, Ms Dilrukshi
Dias Wickremasinghe for her attempts to eradicate corruption in the
country. This is a bouquet from the peace loving people of this country.