ECONOMYNEXT – When the finance ministry tightened imports last week, balls were treated exceptionally harshly and only small balls escaped the squeeze, but the size discrimination left both sportsmen and women fuming.
The Gazette Extra Ordinary 2294/30 of August 23, 2022 allowed smaller golf balls and ping pongs escaped the crushing import restriction that applied to bigger balls used in cricket, tennis, football and rugby. Even inflatable balls were chopped.
How did the rich-man’s golf ball escape? There is no immediate explanation from the Treasury or the Central Bank which had wanted controls to buttress its attempt to save foreign exchange.
Is it because of special Golf interests? Bollocks, says an insider.
Is it because a honcho at the central bank loved to play with small balls and drives every morning to the Royal Colombo Golf Club? Bollocks, says an insider.
He pointed out that even smaller balls —used for vehicles and machinery — were banned. The tiniest ball bearings (HS Code 8482.10.00) were also prohibited under the new decree.
He also noted that screws (HS code 8483.40.00) were also “temporarily suspended” under the new dictate of the Finance ministry.
The government also banned rackets although eliminating rackets may be a tough nut to crack. Tennis, badminton or similar rackets, with or without strings (HS Code 9506.51.00) are also not allowed.
Another wise move was to ban dummies.
“Dummies and other lay figures, automata and other animated displays used for shop window dressing,” will be banned until further notice.
The ban comes a week after Central Bank of Sri Lanka Governor Nandalal Weerasinghe noted that foreign exchange liquidity in commercial banks had improved and they had enough to finance the import of essentials such as fuel, food and medicines.
Why then resort to a new round of import restrictions that will have a castrating, sorry, cascading effect on the entire economy. We might need a crystal ball to figure that out, but wait, that is also banned. (COLOMBO/Aug 26/2022)
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