ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has extended the period of a 10 rupee a kilo tax on maize till the end of February 2017, after it was first cut for six months from July 2017.
Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera lowered series of taxes going up to 70 rupees a kilo in August 2017 for six months, amid a drought which was pushing up chicken feed prices.
Critics say the import taxes as well as import licenses were giving allowing a political-business nexus, to earn enormous profits.
Import licenses were denied to feed-millers like Bairaha and Ceylon Grain Elevators but were issued to third parties who imported and re-sold them to feed produces.
Ceylon Grain Elevators confirmed in its latest interim accounts that it had now been given an import license.
The government has estimated that during the current 2017/2018 Maha season about 153,000 metric tonnes of maize would be produced domestically with 45,245 hectares being sown by November 2017, or 60 percent of the 75,000 hectare target.
In the Maha 2017 season, 173,733 metric tonnes were estimated to have been produced, with 44,515 hectares being sown.
The production of the Yala 2017 season was about 26,500 metric tonnes.
Final cultivation data has not yet been released. (Colombo/Feb08/2018)