The price of potatoes should come down in the marketplace as the government has cut the special commodity levy imposed on imports of the tuber by half.
The lower price may be too late for Christmas but should take hold by the time we usher in 2020.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa wearing his Finance Minister hat has issued a gazette cutting the Rs 50 per kilo import levy to Rs 25 yesterday, his ministry announced.
The press statement also said that the decision was taken by the Cabinet sub-committee on the cost of living appointed by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa at a meeting held at the Presidential Secretariat recently.
The special commodity levy is a tool used by the government to protect local producers.
If prices for a locally produced item is low, the government will impose a higher levy on imports to stabilise prices.
Despite introducing a simpler tax structure on consumables as promised in the government’s Presidential Manifesto, consumers are yet to get the advantage as food prices, particularly staples such as Rice and vegetables have risen steeply.
Part of the rise is due to the holiday season compounded by the heavy rains in the East and South creating issues for produce to be brought to market.