The ministry submitted details via a report to the Parliamentary Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) today (09).
Speaking to media, COPA member - MP Dr. Harsha de Silva has said that, according to the report, the public had not received the complete benefit of the tax reduction as a small group had control of prices in the market.
“The treasury lost almost Rs. 16 billion from the sugar tax reduction,” he had added.
There are serious concerns over the high volumes of sugar imported before the reduction of taxes, he further added.
According to market sources, 11 out of 12 sugar importers had not gained the benefit of the abrupt tax removal last year. Due to a rumor that there would be a sugar shortage in the Indian market, importers had brought in large stocks and got them released after paying tax.
However, it is said that the well known importer - Pyramid Wilmar (Pvt) Ltd, has taken advantage of this.
Unlike other importers, Pyramid Wilmar has bonded warehouses, which are buildings or other secured areas in which dutiable goods may be stored until stocks are released after paying duty.
It is reported that the company has had 8,000 MT of imported sugar in their bonded warehouses, which they had released after the taxes were removed, paying only 25 cents per kilo.
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