Sri Lanka halves taxes on imported potatoes, onions

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka slashed by half a special commodity levy on imported potatoes and onions ahead of the festive season, the Finance Ministry said Monday.

A special commodity levy of 40 rupees for a kilogramme of imported potatoes and onions will be halved to 20 rupees by midnight Monday.

According to Central Bank data red onions were retailing at around 190 rupees a kilogramme in the Pettah market while potatoes were selling at 200 rupees.

Imported onions were sold at around 188.33 rupees and potatoes 118.33 rupees.

The disputed Cabinet of disputed Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has already reduced fuel prices and reduced a tax on sugary drinks by 40 percent in a bid to win public support after twice losing a no-confidence motion in parliament.

Last May, the government of Ranil Wickremesinghe—who was controversially sacked by President Maithripala Sirisena in October, replacing him with Rajapaksa—had increased the special commodity on imported potatoes and onions by 10 rupees to 40 rupees a kilogramme. (COLOMBO, 3 December 2018)

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