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Importers secure higher gains from VAT increase

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In the backdrop of the 18% Value Added Tax (VAT) increase that comes into effect from today (Jan. 01), it is revealed that a large number of containers laden with goods by importers which is sufficient for 3 – 4 months, are at the Colombo port.

Due to an increase in imports, the congestion in clearance of goods had been extreme in the last days of December.

Speaking, Senior Director of Customs and Customs Spokesperson – Mr. Sivali Arukgoda said that there has been an unusual increase in importation of goods in the last few days.

He added that although the Customs usually receives between 1000 – 1200 containers per day for clearance, documents to clear 1774 and over 1600 containers were received on Dec. 28 and Dec. 29 respectively.

Customs says that this is about a 50% increase than the average daily volume of containers handled for clearance.

According to the Customs, all goods slapped by the 18% VAT has been imported in this manner.

The Customs has observed that goods such as food, clothing, floor tiles, bathroom fittings, building materials, electric equipment, computers, mobile phones and accessories and toys have been imported in this way.

As of last Saturday (Dec. 30), all that was left to be cleared were 320 containers left at the Colombo Port and 370 containers at the 03 inspection yards located outside the port.

All these too, were also cleared by last night (Dec. 31), the Customs add.

The Customs media spokesperson states that Customs officials had worked day and night to clear these containers.

The 18% VAT came into effect from midnight yesterday (Dec. 31) and it is said that many who had cleared all their goods ahead of the VAT implementation, will now sell them in the local market at a higher price and reap more profits.

(Source – Aruna)

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CBSL appoints two New Deputy Governors

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The Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) has appointed two new Deputy Governors, effective this week. 

Assistant Governor and Secretary to the Governing Board A.A.M. Thassim has been appointed as Deputy Governor starting June 20, while Assistant Governor J.P.R. Karunaratne will assume his new role on June 24.

These appointments were made by the Minister of Finance, following recommendations from the CBSL Governing Board, in accordance with the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Act, No. 16 of 2023.

Mr. Thassim brings over 31 years of experience at CBSL, having worked in various areas including Banking Supervision and Regulation, International Operations, and Risk Management. He has also been part of several high-level committees on monetary policy and financial stability.

Mr. Karunaratne, with over 33 years at CBSL, has extensive experience in the supervision and regulation of financial institutions, currency management, and public debt. He has significantly contributed to strengthening the legal framework and consolidation of the Non-Bank Financial Institutions sector.

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UK rejects TGTE appeal to lift LTTE proscription

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The UK Proscribed Organisations Appeals Commission has rejected an appeal by the Transitional Government of Tamil Eelam (TGTE) to lift the proscription on the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) as a terrorist organisation in Britain.

Sri Lanka’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ali Sabry, confirmed that the UK will continue to maintain the proscription on the LTTE. Announcing this on ‘X’ (formerly Twitter), Sabry noted that the independent court, headed by a high court judge and two retired senior diplomats, ruled against de-proscribing the LTTE.

The TGTE, which supports the creation of an independent Tamil state in north-east Sri Lanka, had appealed to the UK to lift its ban on the LTTE. However, the TGTE itself is not proscribed in the UK as it seeks to achieve its political and ideological objectives through non-violent means.

Sabry further stated, “The LTTE international network’s approach and strategy is to get foreign governments to de-proscribe the LTTE so that they could revive the LTTE.”

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Thai PM justifies frequent international trips, including a visit to Sri Lanka

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Thailand’s Prime Minister Srettha Thavisin defended his frequent globe-trotting during his first 10 months as leader of the Southeast Asian nation, in remarks aired in a television broadcast on Saturday.

A real estate tycoon and political newcomer who became prime minister in August last year, Srettha made 15 overseas visits and pledged a two-month halt in March in response to public criticism.

“Some of these visits are not avoidable,” he said, referring to those for official meetings of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), as well as to China and Japan, while a third was to Sri Lanka to sign a free trade pact.

Other visits aimed to draw trade and investment, said Srettha, nicknamed Thailand’s salesman, who has often spoken of his goal of luring more foreign investment to the country.

“It’s necessary to go,” he said in the remarks recorded in advance.

Source: Reuters

–Agencies

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