By Padmini Matarage
(lakbima english, 16th Nov)
The JVP believes the imposition of a paper tax is proof that the government is indirectly attempting to silence the media.
Anura Kumara Dissanayaka points out that the imposition of a 5% Cess on imported paper will affect the prices of paper needed to print newspapers, and prices of exercise books and stationery also. He says that the new tax will force newspaper owners to increase the prices of their newspapers. ‘The increased price may reduce the demand for newspapers and as such, this could be taken as an indirect attempt to silence the media,” he says.
Dissanayaka charges that the government has not done anything to uplift domestic production, but claims that the taxes are being imposed to uplift the local economy.
“The paper factories at Embilipitiya and Valaichchenai had been closed down and that the government did not have a proper plan to meet even 50% of the country’s paper demand,” he says.