Basil taxes food to protect foreign reserves
By Paneetha Ameresekere
Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa, by Gazette number 2236-66, dated 17 July, has levied special import taxes ranging from a minimum of Rs 26 a kg to a maximum of Rs 360 a kg on six food items to protect the country’s sparse foreign reserves.
They are: Rs 26 per kg on coriander seeds, Rs 52 a kg on crushed or grounded coriander seeds, Rs 102 a kg on uncrushed or ungrounded turmeric, Rs 200 a kg on grated or powdered cheese, Rs 325 a kg on black gram flour and Rs 360 a kg on crushed or grounded turmeric, respectively. Rajapaksa said that these new import taxes, known as special commodity levies,had been effective retrospectively from Monday (19) and will be in force for one year from that date.