Sri Lanka to cut food import levies

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Ministry of Finance and Economic Affairs said it has reduced a Special Commodity Levy on several imported commodities in order to bring down the cost of living.

A statement said the Special Commodity Levy will be reduced on dhal and chick peas by five rupees a kilo each and black gram by 25 rupees a kilo.

Sugar will be brought under the Special Commodity Levy whereby the applicable taxes on sugar will also be reduced by 10 rupees a kilo.

“Accordingly, the commodity prices will be reduced with immediate effect,” it said.

Customs Duty will also be waived on wheat grain to nine rupees a kilo from the existing waiver of six rupees.

"The necessary Gazettes for the aforementioned tax related proposals will be issued today and Cabinet approval is sought to amend the necessary tax laws," the Finance Ministry statement said.

In Sri Lanka though the parliamnet is in theory in control of finances, some import taxes are changed through midnight gazette by decree. The statement came as Sri Lanka is in the grip of a political crisis after President Maithripala Sirisena appointed Mahinda Rajapaksa as Prime Minister and Finance Minister and the parliament is suspended. (COLOMBO, 01 November, 2018)

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