Sri Lanka govt to act against ‘artificial’ price hikes exploiting VAT

ECONOMYNEXT – The Sri Lankan government will act against traders who artificially increase prices of essential consumer goods on the pretext of the recent increase in Value Added Tax (VAT), a government spokesman said.

Minister of Parliamentary Reforms & Mass Media Gayantha Karunathilake said prices of a range of foodstuffs have been raised artificially since March.

“There have been artificial price hikes on essential goods,” he told a news conference. “The government will investigate and act against those who are increasing prices of goods not subject to VAT.”

The problem arose after the government raised VAT to 15% from 11%.

Karunathilake said price control had been imposed on 15 essential goods like rice, gas, cement, sugar and onions with 10 more essential foodstuffs to be added with the government giving subsidies to control prices.

The consumer affairs authority is to set up a task force covering all police divisions to conduct raids on traders who were exploiting consumers by increasing pries on the pretext they have to pay VAT, he said.
(COLOMBO, July 06, 2016)


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