Who wanted the gazette issued by Prime Minister – Mahinda Rajapaksa, lifting the import ban on tiles and sanitary ware to be cancelled after several hours of it being issued?

Who wanted the gazette issued by Prime Minister – Mahinda Rajapaksa, lifting the import ban on tiles and sanitary ware to be cancelled after several hours of it being issued?

Who wanted the gazette issued by Prime Minister – Mahinda Rajapaksa, lifting the import ban on tiles and sanitary ware to be cancelled after several hours of it being issued?

Written by Tharusha Kumarasinghe

04 Feb, 2021 | 11:04 pm

Colombo (News 1st): News 1st reported yesterday on how a gazette issued by the Prime Minister was annulled within a few hours, and the import restrictions on tiles and sanitary ware were reimposed.

The Association of Tiles and Sanitary Ware Importers said that this decision would result in the monopolization of the market in the country.

An extraordinary gazette was issued on the 10th of July last year banning the import of tiles and sanitary ware.

Due to a drop in the availability of tiles and sanitary ware in the market the price of these items skyrocketed.

Against a backdrop where the general public was deprived of the opportunity to purchase tiles and sanitary ware at a reasonable price, the prime minister lifted the ban on the import of these items through an extraordinary gazette.

However a few hours after the gazette was issued, the Controller General of Import and Export Department annulled the decision in the gazette through operating instructions communicated through a letter addressed to the Director-General of Customs and CEOs of all commercial banks.

This is not the first instance where decisions were reversed to favour certain businessmen.

A few months ago, the reduction in the import tax for sugar to favour a single businessman resulted in the government losing an income of over Rs. 10 Billion.

Details on a similar situation surrounding the import of tiles and sanitary ware have come to light against a backdrop the losses suffered due to the reduction in taxes of sugar have not even been investigated.

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