The “sugar scam” explained

The “sugar scam” explained

The “sugar scam” explained

Written by Staff Writer

13 Jan, 2021 | 8:57 pm

COLOMBO (News1st): The loss caused by the sugar scam has been valued at Rs 10 billion, according to a complaint filed by the Janatha Vimukthi Peramuna with the Criminal Investigation Department.

How did the scam take place?

On the October 13, 2020 the government slashed the special commodity levy on a kilo of imported sugar from Rs. 50 to 25 cents.

On November 2, an importer brought down 26,000 metric tonnes of sugar and another 37,000 metric tonnes on November 25.

The importer had brought down nearly 100,000 metric tonnes using the benefit of the tax reduction.

At that time, the government imposed a maximum retail price of Rs. 85 for sugar.

Importers who imported sugar when the levy stood at Rs 50 had not be able to sell the stocks they imported as they would face losses.

The government then decided to increase the import levy on sugar to Rs 4 on October 27.

Once a market levy has been changed, it cannot be altered further until a month has passed. This prompted the government to issue Import Control Licences to import sugar.

Accordingly, sugar imported under the 25 cent levy from October 30 until November 22 was not released while the sugar imported using the licences after November 22 were subjected to the 25 cent tax.

The importer who imported sugar for the 25 cent tax received a benefit amounting to Rs. 10 billion, according to the complaint lodged by the JVP.

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