Stamp duty on official affairs should be abolished. - Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena.

The Prime Minister mentioned that the stamp duty on official affairs should be abolished, at Maharagama Pragathipura on 21.04.2024, while participating for the government’s new programme of distributing rice to low-income earners.

Speaking on this occasion the Prime Minister stated that

"The current government is taking steps to provide rice to the low-income earners who are suffering from various problems and to every family that is suffering from various health problems in every Divisional Secretariat through the subsidy program that is starting from today. The sole objective of the government is to feed the people of low- income families and their children with at least helping of one meal.

We had a very difficult time. Some houses had to travel far to find kerosene. After spending those days with great difficulty we were able to revive the country back into a normal condition as a government. The farmers were the first to shoulder that burden. They are our parents. Since the farmers shouldered that burden, Sri Lanka had a chance to achieve a surplus harvest. Realising that we were able to be self-sufficient in food, and foreign countries decided to provide us aid again.

First of all, the Government Agents have been instructed to provide the rice grown in our own country to the low- income people of our country. Only when that is not possible, they will have to buy rice from the market which are imported from foreign countries. As a country that can stand alone, as a country that can be self-sufficient in terms of food, our aim should be to provide reliable economic strength that leads to building the future of the country on behalf of all the people and the growing generation of our country.

There was a time when the political authority decided to evict these residents. As the Parliament member of the related area, even I had to intervene in this matter. We asked the Police to leave. It didn’t end easily. Arguments continued for hours. Of those who were there then, only a few people are left now who are in their old age like me. Regardless of the law of the country, the law of this land was there, so it has been decided to hand over the land ownership through a deed to those who have been residing in government lands, urban development authority lands and housing authority lands for a long time.

I am asking you to get these deeds by paying a small amount in installments. The value of these lands has increased four hundred times than the value twenty years ago. The value of rupee has increased. The dollar value is decreasing. The mothers here know about the value of a stamp we used to post a letter those days. At that time, we mailed using a ten-cent stamp. If you look at how much the value has increased today, you have to use a stamp of ten or twenty rupees to send a letter today. What is the value of the stamp you need for signing? I think the time has come to abolish this stamp duty. Everyone has an identity card. Why stamps? These shortcomings should be corrected and move forward. When the value of lands is increasing, you who got the land rights should protect it for the sake of future generation. Protect it somehow, develop it, add to your own efforts and direct the future generation to jobs that can add new sources of income."

Colombo District Secretary K. G. Vijayasiri, Maharagama Divisional Secretary Dilrukshi Walpola, former members of the Western Provincial Council and the public participated in this event.

Prime Minister’s Media