Written by Zulfick Farzan
13 Oct, 2021 | 9:15 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lankan wholesale traders are cautioning of a shortage of sugar.
The government had issued three gazettes reducing taxes on imported sugar. The gazettes ordered the 50-rupee import tax on sugar to be reduced to 25 cents.
The first gazette was published on the 13th of October 2020. Under this, the taxes were reduced for three months.
On the 13th of January this year, the tax relief was extended for three months.
On the 13th of April, a gazette was issued again extending the relief for six months and this will lapse at midnight.
Finance secretary S.R. Attygalle said the order may be canceled or extended at midnight.
Sri Lanka has an annual sugar consumption of 50 million metric tonnes.
The sugar importers association said 60 million metric tonnes were imported when the tax was first reduced to 25 cents.
The government introduced a maximum retail price, saying it would benefit the people. The Consumer Affairs Authority had issued a gazette on this recently.
It set the maximum price of an unpacked kilo of white sugar at 125 rupees, and brown sugar at 128 rupees.
But people haven’t been able to purchase sugar at this cost. Wholesale traders in Pettah say they can’t sell sugar at low prices after buying them at a higher cost.
Retail traders say they can’t sell sugar at 125 rupees after buying it at 132 rupees.
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