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Imposing tax on coconut oil another episode of ‘sugar tax fraud’?

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Finance State Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya’s statement that a tax of Rs.25 will be imposed on a litre of imported coconut oil in order to protect local coconut oil producers has created a stir.

A Special Customs Levy of Rs.15/- is already being charged for a litre of imported coconut oil.

However, State Minister Siyambalapitiya has made the new statement when stocks of nearly 10,000 tons of coconut oil imported are stored in bonded warehouses.

According to the economic experts, the coconut oil to be released to the local market in bonded warehouses will be exempted from the new tax and the importers will only have to pay the old tax of Rs.15/=.

Meanwhile, the price of a litre of coconut oil had decreased by Rs.40 in the last few weeks to Rs.535 due to the depreciation of the US Dollar.

However, the price of coconut oil has increased to about Rs.565 rupees per litre, with the US Dollar appreciating again from 302 to 333 rupees.

At present, no tax is paid at the port on imported coconut oil and palm oil to Sri Lanka, and a tax is paid when they are being released from bonded warehouses.

Therefore, the government has to collect taxes from imported coconut oil intermittently.

When ‘Sri Lanka Mirror’ inquired about the companies that operate bonded warehouses of imported coconut oil, it was reported that Asian Company, Narada Agro and Pyramid Wilmar operate bonded coconut oil warehouses.

Meanwhile, National Movement for Consumer Rights Protection President Ranjith Vithanage said that increasing the tax on imported coconut oil will not bring any relief to the consumers.

He expressed these views at a news briefing held yesterday (25).

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No justification for coconut oil price hike – Coconut Development Authority

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The Coconut Development Authority has stated that there is no valid reason for a price increase of coconut oil in the local market.

CDA chairman – Prof. Roshan Perera has emphasized that there has been no tax hike on imported coconut oil.
Given the sufficient supply of coconut oil for domestic consumption, Prof. Perera asserted that any price increase is unjustifiable.

Additionally, a new regulatory program is being planned to control and stabilize coconut oil prices in the market, he added.

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Coconut oil price upped

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The price of a litre of coconut oil has been increased by more than Rs. 100, the National Consumer Front (NCF) has said.

NCF Chairman Asela Sampath said that the price of a litre of coconut oil has been increased by between Rs. 180 and Rs. 200. 

Accordingly, the current retail price of a coconut oil litre is Rs. 550.

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Registration compulsory for all money changers 

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The Central Bank has issued a notice making it compulsory for all money exchange institutions to be registered with the Central Bank and regulated by it. 

The CB order is in effect from 3 June 2024. 

The Central Bank states that all money changers who are currently not registered will now receive the opportunity to provide such services in a systematic and regulated manner. 

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