Friday, January 8, 2016
The benefit that our foreign remittances have had on increasing the wealth of the very rich in Sri Lanka.
This is an area that has not been studied sufficiently, as the leisured and moneyed class in Sri Lanka don’t want to give the poor the credit for their success, as they feel they have earned it by wise investment and picking the winning formulae not realizing that without this treasure trove there would have been no winning formula anywhere to be seen.
Foreign employment agencies made obscene amounts of money on every person they package out of the Country. I have noted in this blog that Saudi cost of getting a maid from SL is Saudi Riyal29,000 or approx 9 lakhs! No wonder people are profiting on the backs of these vulnerable women!
Then the money sent back, helps in educating kids and helps flood the tuition classes, where Tuition Masters have become millionaires buying into property. Then there are many who buy plots of land with the money sent, driving the demand for lots, first in the Provinces, and then later in the Western Province, once they realize the jobs are there, and wish to move. Further Govt. departments expand with the increasing money supply, and they put pressure on the available buildings and are a serious player in the rental market, driving up office rental space, which in turn drive up the property prices.
Now a perch in Kollupitiya is Rs15M. With the increasing purchases of consumer goods, like TVs washing machines and refrigerators, the likes of Abans, Singer and Softlogic have expanded to every region, putting further pressure on shopping complexes which leads to people buying building and letting shop fronts in increasing sizes all over the place to satisfy this demand. All this thanks to the hard working Sri Lankans who slave away all over the world, sometimes in dangerous conditions to send money back to their families so that they can enjoy the fruits of their TOIL, and who benefits the most, namely the NO TAX paying Rich, who continually buy and buy land and buildings with their extra cash. Many of the people benefitting from this largess are NOT in the Tax net, so when you don’t pay taxes that you should and instead increase your wealth accordingly, it is the state that losers and the individual who gains.
I have not included the car dealers in this, as well as the Doctors who can charge and patients still are able to pay, and they can become wealthy and buy houses too! All this is called a perfect capitalistic development model, which is OK if the beneficiaries at least pay the due Taxes to the Govt. especially in a Country which even before the reduction in taxes, was seen as having one of the lowest tax rates on earth. So if you are rich please try to think about helping the poor!