The situation in Sri Lanka, which has been hit by the economic crisis, is now towards normalcy, but the opposition to the increase in tax rate and utility rates by President Ranil Wickremesinghe is now visible. Trade unions in Sri Lanka have announced a one-day nationwide strike on March 1 i.e. Wednesday.
Actually, the Sri Lankan President had increased the tax rates to improve the situation in the country, due to which the trade unions urged him to withdraw this order. However, the President did not withdraw his order, due to which a nationwide strike is going to take place on March 1.
Tax hike in Sri Lanka
Explain that President Wickremesinghe had started the tax hike on January 1, behind which it is believed that it was implemented due to the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Wickremesinghe promulgated the essential services order on Monday night covering public transport, freight transport and all operations related to ports and airports.
Joseph Stalin, a member of the teachers’ union, said, “The gazette of essential services was issued even after the trade unions warned of a strike.” On the other hand, Ranjan Jayalal of the electricity workers’ trade union said, ‘We will go on strike against these illegal tax orders, as already planned.’
It is believed that doctors, teachers and bank employees including central bank personnel will participate in this symbolic strike.
Bank employees’ union Channa Dissanayake said, “If the government does not act to withdraw the tax proposals, we will act specifically from next week.”
Increase in tax to deal with the economic situation
It is to be known that President Wickremesinghe holds the Finance Ministry. He said that raising taxes was a necessary step to overcome the current economic crisis. However, trade unions allege that the tax revision is meant to appease the IMF, as Sri Lanka awaits approval from the IMF for a $2.9 billion bailout package.