The Samagi Jana Balawegaya says they are studying the legal steps to be taken against the decision to impose a 25 percent levy on the Employees Provident Fund, through the Surcharge Tax Bill.
Speaking during a media briefing in Colombo today, SJB National Organizer Parliamentarian Tissa Attanayake said the government has no right to seize funds of the workforce.
MP Attanayake said the Minister of Finance when presenting the 2022 Budget informed Parliament that a 25 percent surcharge tax will be imposed on entities making profits of over Rs.2 billion.
He said they do not agree with the statement since businessmen will lose interest and enthusiasm adding it affects investments as well.
He said the EPF, Employees’ Trust Fund, and the Pension Fund were not mentioned while the Finance Minister made no reference to imposing the 25 percent surcharge on state institutions.
He said it is clear that the proposal was tabled in Parliament aiming the EPF and ETF adding the government is attempting to obtain over Rs.70 billion through the proposed surcharge.
MP Attanayake said they do not agree with the government’s decision adding they called for the Gazette Notification to be reversed.
He said however there are no signs of the Gazette being reversed.
The MP said Minister of Labour Nimal Siripala de Silva also raised his opposition to the government’s decision in Parliament last week.
MP Attanayake said the present administration aims to utilise the funds for political projects adding they vehemently oppose the decision.
He said in addition to legal action they will take to the streets in protest.
On a separate note, the SJB National Organizer challenged the government to conduct an election as soon as possible.
MP Attanayake said the SJB is ready to face any election at any given time adding they are currently engaged in organizing their ground-level networks while all organizers have also been appointed.
He urged the government to hold elections without delay if they have the public mandate as claimed.
He questioned why the present administration was attempting to disrupt political campaigns.
MP Attanayake said the Local Authorities Election must be held within this year adding the Provincial Council Election can also be held with minor amendments.
The Parliamentarian said according to the Constitution the President has the authority to hold a Presidential Election or a General Election next year as well.