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Sri Lanka gov't wins vote on increasing taxes
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08:01, September 07, 2007

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The Sri Lankan government won a crucial parliamentary vote Thursday to enable it to introduce new taxes, parliamentary officials said.

The bills were passed 106 votes for and 81 against in the electronic voting which was performed for the first time in the Sri Lankan parliament.

Opposition United National Party (UNP), People's Liberation Front (JVP) and the Tamil National Alliance voted against the bills.

UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe protested that electronic voting was not valid as the standing orders did not permit such a vote.

Opposition members and government members nearly exchanged physical blows in the uproar that followed, officials said.

The bills provided for the levying of new taxes on the usage of mobile phones and imported vehicles.

The opposition argued that the bills would further increase the economic burden on the public.

But the government said that new taxes were required to set off loss of government revenue due to its efforts to reduce the cost of living.

Source: Xinhua

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