ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has raised a tax on potatoes to Rs50 kilogram with effect from midnight April 26 the seasonal domestic harvest coming in, the government said.
“Potato harvesting has begun in Nuwara Eliya and this year a bumper harvest is expected,” a government statement said.
In January 2021 potatoes were taxed at 15 rupees a kilogram.
Potatoes are an agricultural product with low productivity and quality that cannot be exported in Sri Lanka despite seasonal harvests from time to time, due to years of protection unlike tea or rubber.
Many potato farmers rent farmland from landowners who earn the classic protectionist ‘rent’ from the tax protection.
Sri Lanka began growing large onions and potatoes as an ‘import substitution’ crop during the 1980s when money printing led to steady depreciation and high inflation, undermining a so-called ‘open economy.’ (Colombo/April27/2021)