Commodity levies slapped on range of food items
By Paneetha Ameresekere
Premier Mahinda Rajapaksa, in his capacity as Finance Minister, has applied special commodity levies (SCLs) on a range of mainly food items from a minimum of Rs 1 to Rs 800 per kg, to protect the country’s sparse foreign reserves, with retrospective effect from Tuesday (18). The new levies are Rs 1 tax on a kg of facemasks, the only non-food item to be taxed under this order.
Other levies, wholly pertaining to food items, in ascending order are a levy Rs 5 per kg on whole chickpeas; Rs 5 per kg on whole peas; Rs 10 per kg on split chickpeas; Rs 10 per kg on split peas; Rs 25 a kg on maize; Rs 50 per kg on red onions; Rs 50 a kg on garlic; Rs 100 per kg on dates; Rs 100 per kg on eels; Rs 100 per kg on dried chillies; Rs 100 per kg on Tuna; Rs 100 per kg on apples; Rs 100 per kg tax on sprats/salmon/ sardines/mackerel; Rs 125 per kg on oranges; Rs 125 per kg on crushed/grounded chillies; Rs 162 per kg on cumin seeds; Rs 162 per kg on fennel seeds; Rs 200 per kg on grapes; Rs 220 per kg on shelled ground nuts; Rs 350 per kg on quinces; Rs 350 per kg on fresh lemons; Rs 400 per kg on dried lemons; Rs 650 per kg on margarine and Rs 800 per kg on yoghurt.