Increased exposure to healthier air is a positive note among the many tragic consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic. As movement was restricted to prevent the spread of the disease, air quality in Colombo drastically improved leading to a 60% reduction in the average duration that people in Colombo were exposed to unhealthy air.
Women in the 20-39 age cohort are uniquely and severely disadvantaged in the labour market in Sri Lanka. This disadvantage is linked to the current policy of placing the full cost of maternity leave benefits (MLBs) on employers.
The Government could raise an extra Rs. 20 Billion from cigarette taxation in 2020 from the proper implementation of the indexation policy articulated in the 2019 Budget and rational calibration of taxes for all cigarette brands.