The cabinet subcommittee on Cost of Living has decided to reduce the import duties on number of items in order to provide relief to the people.
Minister of Finance and Mass Media Mangala Samaraweera said the Government under the directions of the President has decided to distribute a packet of essential food items worth of 5000 rupees for the next two months to the people affected by the drought in several districts in the country.
Meanwhile, the committee has decided to reduce import tax on Rice to 25 cents from 5 rupees per kilogram and the new levy is valid until 31 December 2017.
The Special Commodity Levy on imported wet fish has been reduced by Rs. 50. Accordingly, import taxes for 1 kilogram and Thalapath and Copra fish will be reduced from Rs. 75 to Rs. 25. The new price reductions will be valid for next three months, according to a request made by the Ministry of Fisheries.
The import duties on maize used for producing poultry feed will be removed and a special commodity levy of Rs. 10 per kilogram of maize will be imposed from today.
Until now, 15% import tax, 15% VAT, 7.5% port and Airport tax, 2% Nation Building Tax, 35% Cess have been imposed on imported for maize. When all these taxes are collected, for one kilogram of imported maize a tax of Rs. 60 – 70 had to be paid. All these taxes have been lifted from today for six months and a special commodity tax of Rs. 10 will be applied for 1 kilogram of maize.
The CESS for one kilogram of imported flour will be reduced by Rs. 10 from Rs. 25 to 15. Also taxes on a kilo of raw wheat has been reduced from Rs. 9 to R. 6.
Accordingly, the market price of all the above mentioned essential goods will be reduced due to the reduction in import levies and special commodity levies.