ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s state-run BCC Lanka Ltd has been allowed to import desiccated coconut after paying 1 rupee special commodity levy from November 24, 2021 in a further addition to existing trade controls in the island.
Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa has imposed a 300 rupee import tax per kilogram on desiccated coconut, HS Code 08.01 in the form of the special commodity levy for six months, starting from November 24.
However from state-run BCC Lanka Ltd only 1 rupee per kilogram tax will be collected and the balance 299 will be waived.
BCC Lanka is the second state owned enterprise to get an import monopoly in recent weeks.
Sri Lanka previously waived a 65 rupee per kilogram tax on imported rice for State Trading Corporation and allowed it to pay only 25 cents per kilogram, creating another import monopoly.
Sri Lanka has been operating a trade control regime for many years partly due to economic nationalism, partly due to lack of knowledge of international trade, and partly to ‘save foreign exchange’.
In 2020 import controls went up sharply as money printing and a flawed pegged regime called a ‘flexible exchange rate’ put pressure on the rupee as money printing was ratcheted up. (Colombo/Nov27/2021)