Ruling party wants Forensic Audit on Sugar Scam

Ruling party calls for Forensic Audit on Sugar Scam

by Zulfick Farzan 10-03-2021 | 6:50 PM

Colombo (News 1st); The ruling party has called for a forensic audit with respect to the Sugar Scam which cost the state more than Rs. 15 Billion in taxes. 





said the government must probe the controversial incident adding necessary measures must be in place to prevent any recurrence.


The tax reduction only 


 the Wilmar company, said UNP General Secretary Palitha Range Bandara adding there are concerns as to who obtained the money from the controversial move.





 parliamentarian Thushara 


 said the loss caused by the Sugar Scam is far greater than the Central Bank Treasury Bond Scam.


He alleged those in high positions in government invited the Wilmar company to Sri Lanka and allowed them to benefit from the tax reduction.


The MP called on the government to take the necessary action with regard to this scam.


The Rs. 16 billion loss to the state from the Sugar Scam, if prevented, could have been used to provide Rs. 10 Million to reach school for development, said Ex-JVP MP Nalin Hewage.


What is the Sugar Scam?

By October 2020 the retail price of a kilogram of sugar had exceeded 130 rupees. In a bid to reduce the retail price of sugar in the market the government on the 13th of October 2020 reduced the import tax on a kilo of sugar from 50 rupees to 25 cents. At the time, sugar importers had about 90,000 metric tonnes of sugar, imported after paying an import tax of 50 rupees in storage. After it was stated that the retail price of sugar cannot be reduced the government increased the income tax imposed on a kilo of sugar to 40 rupees on the 27th of October. According to the Special commodity levy act, the increased tax will only come into force a month later. Thereby the amended tax value could not come into force between the 13th of October and the 13th of November. During this time period, one specific sugar importer was able to import 100,000 metric tonnes of sugar subject to an import tax of just 25 cents. According to what was revealed in parliament, the loss suffered by the government as a result of this was close to 10 billion rupees. In the interim, there was another questionable transaction that raised eyebrows. After reducing the import tax of sugar to 25 cents the government set a maximum retail price of 85 rupees for a kilo of sugar. During this period SATHOSA had purchased over 2000 metric tonnes of sugar at a price between 125 and 127 rupees, from this specific importer who was subject to an import tax of just 25 cents. The stocks of sugar that were purchased from this specific importer was sold to the public at 85 rupees. Thereby this specific importer was able to enjoy the profits due to the reduction of import taxes as well as the sale of sugar to SATHOSA at a higher price.