JVP to vote against emergency regulations and Finance Bill

Anura Kumara Dissanayake

The JVP yesterday said that it would vote in Parliament against both the Proclamation of the emergency regulations by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa today (06) and the Finance Bill tomorrow (07).

Addressing the media at the party headquarters in Pelawatte, JVP leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake said that those two pieces of legislation were not for the benefit of the people, but intended to consolidate more powers in the hands of a few in the government.

“This government is led by a cabal that is never happy with whatever power they have. Their continuous efforts are to further consolidate their powers. The Finance Bill is not only for power consolidation but also to legitimize some money laundering techniques to whitewash black money. We are against both of them and would vote against them,” Dissanayake said.

The JVP leader said that the Proclamation of the emergency regulations by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa was scheduled to be taken up for debate in Parliament on Monday (06). “It will be put to vote on Monday evening. This has been brought forward as a means to provide relief to the people. If the government wants there are enough laws for that purpose. This emergency declaration has been made with the ulterior motive of further wrongfully restricting the fundamental rights of the people. This will lead the country further in the direction of authoritarianism,” Dissanayake said.

He said that some provisions in the Finance Bill would grant amnesty to tax evaders. As per the provisions of the bill, if a person fails to disclose the taxable assets and is willing to immediately invest the equivalent amount in the country, he or she can invest in other financial instruments such as purchase of shares of a resident company, treasury bills or treasury bonds issued by the Central Bank, debt securities issued by a resident company or buy any movable or immovable property in the country.

“This Bill has not been introduced for ordinary entrepreneurs who are helpless in the face of the collapsed economy due to the Covid-19 pandemic but for tax evaders. The businesses of those who have been unable to repay bank loans, leases and are facing a major crisis as a result, are closing down. The Government should provide some relief to such small and medium scale entrepreneurs. However, the Government has not brought this Bill for that. This is to facilitate tax evaders who have not been exposed and have defrauded the people of their tax money. This is simply a Bill to launder black money,” the JVP leader said.

(Source: The Island – By Saman Indrajith)