Duty on imported essential items to be imposed
The Ministry of Trade will impose duties on imported essential items
to protect consumers from unfair profits made by importers, said Deputy
Minister of Trade and Commerce, Neomal Perera.
He said by imposing taxes on imported commodities the government
hopes to protect local industries and boost the manufacture of local
The Government fixed a Rs. 30 per kilo tax on imported potatoes
recently to safeguard local farmers. The price of potatoes dropped from
Rs.90 to Rs.65 a kilo due to the import of potatoes.
“The Ministry of Trade has decided to import essential items directly
to prevent importers from making huge profits and create a stable
market”, the Deputy Minister said.
He said the activation of the Paddy Marketing Board has helped
provide a good price for farmers and to stabilise the market. The PMB
has purchased around 5 percent of the harvest this year.
The Ministry of Trade will increase the number of Sathosa and
Cooperative outlets to provide consumers essential items at an
The number of Sathosa outlets will be increased to 250 this year.
Currently 206 Sathosa outlets and 10,000 cooperatives are operative in
The Deputy Minister said the number of raids carried out islandwide
has increased and more officers have been deployed to nab errant
Traders are fined for not displaying price tags, selling items
underweight, exceeding the expiry date and violating manufacture
“We have to protect the consumer and the trader which is a difficult
task. Despite accusations from both parties we have ensured that the
best is done for the country”, he said.