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Government reduces tax of imported rice with immediate effect

riceThe government has decided to reduce tax on imported rice with effect from Friday midnight to bring relief to the people who are affected by the current soaring rice prices due to the drought.

 This decision was taken by the Cabinet Sub Committee on cost of living which met on Friday (January 6) at the Ministry of Finance. The Committee was patronaged by Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake, Special Assignments Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Minister Mahinda Amaraweera, and Industry and Commerce Minister Rishard Bathiudeen. The soaring prices of rice in the current market was discussed during the meeting.

Accordingly, Customs duty of Rs.50, 15% VAT, 7.5% Port and Airport Levy and 2% Nation Building Tax per kilogram of rice have been removed. However, a special commodity levy of Rs.15 per kilogram of imported rice will be imposed instead. This move will be effective from midnight yesterday.

Taxes have been reduced for rice varieties such as Samba, Nadu and Brown raw rice. However, tax reduction is not applicable to imported Basmati.

The Cabinet Sub Committee on cost of living has taken this decision as a measure to bring relief to the people. Rice prices have increased due to the prevailing dry weather in the country. This will simultaneously prevent the unscrupulous traders, who hoarded rice stocks and created an artificial shortage in the market to exploit the consumers.

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