SL Lists Being Blacklisted by Int’l Community – Mangala
By Paneetha Ameresekere
The only silver lining in Budget 2021 is that it has paved the way for black money to enter the country, former Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera alleged.
He alleged that black money entering into the country has been encouraged when taking into account Prime Minister and Finance Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa’s budget statement, where the latter had allegedly said that those who bring in black money to the country would be taxed at one per cent only, the former Finance Minister said.
But by Rajapaksa making such statements he risks Sri Lanka being blacklisted by the international community on the grounds that they may consider the island to be a haven for money laundering, he said. It was only as late as October 2019 that Sri Lanka was transferred from the United Nations (UN) sponsored Financial Action Task Force (FATF) from the grey list to the white list vis-à-vis issues arising in relation to illegal transactions such as money laundering, said Samaraweera.
He further said the fact that Budget 2021 is unrealistic is underlined by the fact that the Government expects revenue, 2021 over 2020 to increase by 27 per cent to Rs 2,029 billion, without informing Parliament how this increase would be effected.