Criticism against amending the import tax on sugar twice

Criticism against amending the import tax on sugar twice

Criticism against amending the import tax on sugar twice

Written by Staff Writer

19 Jan, 2021 | 7:40 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st): The government came under heavy flak recently for amending an import tax on sugar twice, with critics stating that the move had benefitted the allies of those in power.

Speaking about the matter in Parliament on Tuesday (19th Jan) Samagi Jana Balawegaya MP Eran Wickramaratne said multinational companies allied to the government such as Wilmar company had imported 102,180 metric tonnes of sugar within 90 days.

“The other 14 entities had imported only around 71,366 metric tonnes of sugar. The former had dominated 59% of the market. Did the Cost of Living Committee meet before deciding to slash the taxes?” questioned the opposition MP.

MP Wickremeratne said the concessions have been extended by 3 months adding that this would mean that the company involved in this will continue to reap profits for another 3 months.

Responding to these allegations ruling party MP Wasantha Yapa Bandara said it is natural for any company whether it is Wilmar or any other establishment to gain a lead over their competitors in the market.

“This situation in the market is created by traders to generate profits. But, if any company has committed fraud in terms of tax payments, and if they have unlawfully amassed wealth, we challenge the critics to prove it just as Wasantha Samarasinghe has gone to court. We will not interfere with the investigations,” the MP added.

However, Samagi Jana Balawegaya MP Nalin Bandara Jayamaha charged that the Treasury had been deprived of revenue amounting to Rs. 10 billion.

“To whom do these funds belong to?” the MP questioned adding that the country lost Rs. 10 billion that could have otherwise been used for development, welfare activities, improving health facilities, and the education sector.

“It was Wilmar that was involved in this under Sajad Mawzoon who is a close friend of the government. We are not afraid to divulge these names. He is a very close associate of the President. This is another racket similar to the daylight robbery of the central bank that the government was harping on in the past,” MP Jayamaha said.

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