The Samagi Jana Balawegaya says the government has incurred a loss of Rs.35 billion in revenue in nine months due to the informal tax concessions provided to large scale companies for importing sugar.
Speaking during a media briefing today, SJB General Secretary Parliamentarian Ranjith Madduma Bandara said the price of sugar in the market didn’t reduce despite the administration reducing the sugar import duty from Rs.50 to Rs.0.25.
The MP said a kilogram of sugar was Rs.95 previously and is now being sold at Rs.220.
The Parliamentarian added the annual sugar requirement is 600,000MT which costs Rs.50,000 monthly.
He said the government reduced taxes to appease close associates.
He said a certain individual imported 266,212MT of sugar between September and December 2020 adding 433,000MT of sugar was imported between January and June 2021, when the import ban on sugar came into effect in June.
MP Madduma Bandara said the importer paid only Rs.0.25 in duty.
He said the government claimed it lost Rs.16 billion in revenue adding it was only for the initial three months.
The Parliamentarian commenting on the operation to seize stocks of sugar that was concealed in order to be sold at a higher price, said there is an attempt to sell the sugar stocks with the intervention of the government and the funds to be provided to groups that concealed the stocks.
He said the President implemented emergency regulations in order to control prices of rice and sugar, adding however such measures need not be taken as legal action can be filed under Article 16 and 17 of the Consumer Affairs Authority Act.
MP Madduma Bandara said the government can seize and sell stocks and collect profits.
The Parliamentarian said the government instead of acting according to provisions of the Consumer Affairs Authority Act, have implemented emergency regulations to secure profits for its allies.