Tax withdrawn on 15 essential commodities
The Treasury has taken steps to do away with taxes imposed on 15
essential commodities and a single method of taxation has been
introduced to provide direct tax benefits to consumers, Treasury sources
told the Sunday Observer.
Taxes enforced on milk food, Maldive fish, dryfish, B onions, red
onions, dried chilies, dhal and green gram have been completely
withdrawn and the import tax of Rs. 20 on potatoes reduced to Rs. 15 a
kilo, sugar from Rs. 10 to Rs. 5 and a kilo of wheat flour from Rs.
12.50 to Rs. 7.50, he said. In the past the government reduced taxes on
essential items to provide relief to consumers but it had not been
passed on to the consumers due to lapses in the existing taxation
methods, sources said.
The enforcement of a single band tax will do away with Vat, Port and
Aviation Tax, Import Tax and Cess tax. The new tax regulations will be
enforced on 15 commodities initially and this will be extended to other
items as well in the future, the sources said.
The government has taken steps to bring down the prices of essential
commodities by withdrawing taxes enforced on them and Cooperative
Societies have been entrusted with direct imports of essential
commodities and to distribute them through Cooperative outlets
This was decided on by President Mahinda Rajapaksa at a discussion
held with officials of Cooperative Societies in the Western Province at
Temple Trees yesterday.
The President said that the government has taken the decision to
withdraw taxes on essential commodities and this will result in a loss
of over Rs. 9 billion annually to State coffers. The aim of this move is
to provide a better price to local producers and provide a reasonable
price to the consumers.
President Rajapaksa stressed the need to modernise Cooperative
Societies to attract more consumers.