Vehicle Permits Cost 16,000 Housemaids and Tax Avoided Thereon Another 16,000
Posted on May 17th, 2017

Dilrook Kannangara

Our thanks go to Nagananda Kodithuwakku for taking up the vital matter of vehicle permits to MPs. As he correctly points out, there is no law, constitutional provision or parliamentary approval for allowing vehicle permits to MPs. Customs Act allows the minister in charge of finance to allow a duty waiver for the benefit of the people and the nation. Allowing vehicle permits to MPs is not in the best interests of the people or the nation. This is a fraud by another name

What happens is, politicians borrow money to do their election campaign. Based on the value the permit sold, it can be estimated that each MP spends 35 million rupees for an election. However, this is only the successful ones. Others too spend money. After electing to parliament, they sell the permit, get the money and settle their election dues. It is a double whammy. The country loses foreign currency to the tune of 35 million rupees as the cost of the vehicle (which would not have been purchased if fully priced) and the duty waiver which is equal to the value of the vehicle (35 million rupees). Assuming a housemaid’s monthly earnings including the cost of plane tickets to be 40,000 rupees, it takes the sweat and blood of 16,000 of them for a year to pay for vehicles and another 16,000 for a year to pay for the duty waived and lost to the nation.

Vehicle permits to MPs are such a disgusting and immoral manipulation of the system. This practice must be stopped. MPs must find their own transport and use the generous monthly allowance for travel to finance their whatever mode of travel.

A criticism of this approach is that poorer politicians may not be able to compete with rich politicians. That is true. However, it is criminal and immoral for the nation, its vulnerable people and state revenue to finance their parliamentary entry. Rich politicians also get back the money as they too sell or use their vehicle permits.

There was a no confidence motion against the Finance Minister last year. Stated reasons included the central bank bond fraud, incompetence and irregularities. However, there was a more pressing reason for MP to bring a no confidence motion against him and terrorize him into submission. In 2015, he boldly proposed to stop the vehicle permit fraud. Needless to say indebted MPs found it unpalatable. However, since then they have been showered with vehicle permits. If he succeeded in stopping this immoral practice, he sure deserves to be the best Finance Minister in Asia.

Vehicle permit racket also sheds light on the colossal amount of money election candidates waste. Going by the excuse of using the proceeds to payoff loans obtained to run their election campaign, each candidate spends 35 million. However, those who have no chance of getting elected spend much less. On average, it is fair to say there is another defeated MP for every successful MP. This means 15.75 billion rupees ($100 million) are wasted by candidates at an election. Ultimately, people foot the bill as no politician has ever gone bankrupt! If the practice of vehicle permits ends, election spending will drastically reduce.

It was also reported that Nagananda Kodithuwakku faces death threats. It is very much understandable. He is up against a racket worth 15.75 billion rupees and the very survival of corrupt politicians who are no strangers to contract killings, mass murder and even crimes against humanity. Protecting him is protecting poor housemaids, their dependents and the nation that survives on their sweat and blood. Is it any surprise there aren’t any to take up this challenge! If Nagananda can enter parliament and hold the finance portfolio, the nation will enormously benefit.

2 Responses to “Vehicle Permits Cost 16,000 Housemaids and Tax Avoided Thereon Another 16,000”

  1. Ananda-USA Says:

    Please read the original article with GRAPHICAL DATA removed in the post below.

    ……………….

    Battling The Labour Shortage In Sri Lanka

    DailyMirror.lk
    May 15, 2017

    Foreign labour finds prosperity in Sri Lanka

    The labour force, synonymously known as the ‘Economically Active Population’ in the country has immensely contributed to the country’s economy. Although figures for the unemployment rate have remained at a bare minimum, the issue of recruiting foreign workers in major industrial sectors in the country has raised concerns. According to sources, close to 200,000 foreign workers have been employed in different sectors and this number keeps on increasing. Life Online takes a look at how labour force statistics have changed over the years, while also speaking to a few experts in varied fields of interest.

    Statistics

    Employment

    According to the Labour Force Survey conducted in 2015 by the Department of Census and Statistics, the working age population considered as those aged 15 years and above. Before 2013 this was considered as age 10 years and above. The annual sampling size was 25,000 housing units since 2011. In 2015, 2500 Primary Sampling Units were allocated to each district and to the Urban, Rural and Estate sector. The survey results reveal that about 7.8 million people have been employed during the year 2015. Out of these employed persons 65.1% are males and 34.9% have been females. Out of the total employed population the highest share is reported under the services sector at 45.6% and the lowest is from the Industries sector at 25.8%. When looking at the distribution of employed population by major industry groups for each district, it has been found that the Gampaha District shows the highest share of employment in the industries sector at 38.8% and Kegalle District as the second highest at 33.2%.

    Another interesting find in this study was that there is an increasing trend in the share of employed persons with G.C.E O/L, G.C.E A/L, HNCE and other education levels as opposed to the group for grade five and below levels. As such the survey results indicate an increasing trend in level of education among the employed population of the country.

    Unemployment

    The survey identifies that unemployment is a key measure of economic health. Therefore it is a major factor in determining how healthy an economy is. An individual who is unemployed is both unproductive and is a drain on the society’s resources. In Sri Lanka the number of unemployed persons is estimated at about 380,000 during 2015. Out of this total, 41.1% are males and 58.8% are females. Quite interestingly the unemployment rate among the higher educated group (G.C.E A/L and above) is reported to be 9.2%. This is 4.7% for males and 13.5% for females. Therefore this reveals that the problem of unemployment is more acute in the case of educated females than males.

    When looking at all age groups, female unemployment is higher. The majority among unemployed are the new entrants to the job market or new job seekers who are between 15-24 years. Hence, this is known as youth unemployment. It has been identified as a global trend since young people tend to wait till they get a suitable job.

    Underemployment

    According to the International Conference on Labour Statistics (ICLS) resolution (1966), underemployment exists when a person’s employment is inadequate, in relation to specified norms or alternative employment while taking his or her occupational skills in to account. Underemployment could be characterised by Visible Underemployment which reflects in an insufficiency in the volume of employment or Invisible Underemployment which is characterised by low income, underutilisation of skill, low productivity and other factors.

    In Sri Lanka, the underemployment rates by economic sector reveal a significant difference. As such, the agriculture sector reveals the highest rate at 4.6% and the service sector reports the lowest at 1.6%. However it has also been found that underemployment decrease as the level of education increase. But the data shows that the underemployment rate for females is higher than that for males in every level of education. The highest underemployment rate was identified from the North Central Province.

    Sri Lankans are reluctant to work in certain fields: Patali Champika Ranawaka

    Speaking to Life Online, Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka said that Sri Lanka has experienced a shortage of labour in the construction, agriculture and plantation sectors.

    “Most of these foreign workers have on tourist visa and according to sources around 200,000 of them are currently working as labour. They are from South African, Pakistani, Indian, Maldivian and Bangladeshi origins. They come here mainly because of the low costs and they are categorized as cheap labour. Many security firms have recruited them and they are found everywhere in the country. On the other hand Sri Lankans are reluctant to work and most educated people are unemployed. If we increase the number of workers in the construction sector it will be quite beneficial to our economy.”

    Need a proper methodology to recruit foreign workers: John Seneviratne

    In his comments to Life Online, Minister of Labour and Labour Relations, John Seneviratne said that there should be some methodology brought forward when recruiting foreign workers.

    “We are definitely experiencing a shortage of labour and there are ample opportunities available for these workers. This shortage of workers is a major drawback to the economy and therefore we need to keep filling this void in one way or the other. An individual labourer such as a mason or carpenter receives a minimum salary of Rs. 1500 per day. This number varies depending on the type of work they are doing. There are various ways in which the youth can get themselves occupied but they are not keen. In most instances the educated people don’t like to work in these sectors. They are willing to take up posts in higher positions. So there is a void created in the lower levels. There are workers who come from outstation and if they could be recruited in these sectors they can earn a good amount to feed their families.”

    The Sri Lankan human resources sector has been completely neglected: Prof. Siri Hettige

    According to senior professor of sociology, Professor Siri Hettige, many Sri Lankans go abroad to train themselves for various careers.

    “In those countries they have to be quite competent. They can’t be lethargic like how they are. I think it’s important that we moderate a thorough investigation on why our people are lethargic. It is still an opinion that Sri Lankans are lethargic and therefore it would be good to conduct a study on different sectors and see why people are reluctant to work in those areas. We lack evidence-based facts. Instead we go behind people’s opinions and this shouldn’t be encouraged. Our unemployment rate is now less than 5% and it is relatively higher among women and educated people. We have totally neglected the human resources sector in our country. We talk about bringing in more investors and creating foreign employment and this is absolute lunacy. We do not realise what we are doing to our country at the end of the day. Human resource management is at its lowest level and that is the bigger picture we have failed to look at.”

  2. Ananda-USA Says:

    And so it CONTINUES to ACCELERATE: the INFLUX of Indians into Sri Lanka under EVERY POSSIBLE PRETEXT!

    SOON to become a FLOOD under the ETCA!

    ………………………………..
    Radhakrishnan insists on filling teacher vacancies in estate schools with Indians
    Island.lk
    May 18, 2017, 11:19 pm

    The government would not change its decision to bring in Indian teachers to be appointed to Tamil schools in the estate sector, Education State Minister V Radhakrishnan vowed yesterday (18).

    The State Ministry of Education has, in a media statement, quoted Minister Radhakrishnan as saying that the government has decided to bring in 100 teachers from India to overcome the prevailing shortage of science and maths teachers in estate schools.

    The Ministry has said that the Minister said so while addressing a ceremony at the auditorium of the Education Ministry at Isurupaya in Battaramulla.

    “The media statement quotes the minister as having said: “We took that decision after considering the fact that we could not fill the existing vacancies overnight with qualified persons from this country. We are recruiting from here, too, but we have to train them and it would take time. Children in the estate schools who have been marginalised for so long should not be made to wait for that while we have the option of obtaining services from teachers from the neighbouring country. We simply cannot order those students to read for arts subjects just because we do not have the required science and maths teachers here. If there are qualified people, we invite them and are ready to recruit them as teachers.

    “There are some people opposing this project as they are not aware of the situation prevailing in the estate sector schools. Because of their short-sightedness this project has become a controversial issue.

    “We have tried to obtain the services of retired teachers but that project was not successful. The Prime Minister, too, has paid his attention to this issue. He ordered me to fill the vacancies by bringing teachers from other countries if not from India I was told to bring teachers from even China. If the teachers in the service are failing to render a proper service we would bring teachers from abroad and somehow ensure the children would get a proper education.”

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