Sri Lankan Doctors Strike for Tax-Free Cars

December 4, 2015 Taxation in Sri Lanaka

COLOMBO – Doctors and civil servants in Sri Lanka are threatening to remain on strike and withhold their services until they are given a tax break of up to 300 percent on the purchase of cars.

On October 11th doctors working in public hospitals in Sri Lanka went on strike over the government’s refusal to allow them to purchase cars without having to pay tax.

Currently, car purchases in Sri Lanka are subject to an import tax of between 200 and 300 percent.

Previously doctors and other individuals working in the public sector were granted an exemption from the tax, a measure which the government proposed dropping in last month’s national budget plan.

Representatives of doctors and civil servants have approached the government calling for the tax break to be reinstated, but so far the request have not been granted.

As a protest to the imposition of the standard import tax, thousands of doctors across the country will only be providing emergency services in public hospitals, while civil servants have embarked on a “work to rule” campaign.

The tax break on the cars was originally dropped as the government believed that the measure resulted in too much lost revenue, and also because some recipients of the tax would pass the benefit to dealers, who would subsequently flood the market with high-end luxury auto mobiles.

Photo By: planetlight