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‘Taxes raised only for things ‘bad’

Minister Daya Gamage says budget 2018 raised taxes only for things ‘bad’ such as arrack.

He made the comment at Suhurupaya in Battaramulla today (24) while briefing the media on the rural economic trends of the budget and the primary industries ministry’s progress in the past two years.

Detailing the measures taken to double the export revenue, the minister said the current 169 million US dollar income from spice exports would be raised to 1,000 m USD.

Also, value addition and promotion of the therapeutic value of cinnamon internationally aims to bring in another 1,000 m USD revenue to the country, he said.

For that, the current cinnamon production will have to be trebled, noted the minister.

He said the president has launched the national food production battle with the aim of locally producing at least half of the 300 billion USD worth of agricultural products being imported every year.

Issues faced by plant nursery owners when transporting soil for their nurseries will be discussed with the president, he added.

Ministry secretary Bandula Wickramarachchi, director general of the Department of Export Agriculture A.P. Heenkenda also participated.

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