Ministry of Finance announced today that the import taxes on sugar and potatoes have been increased with effect from today.

Special Commodity Levy on import of a kilo of potatoes has been increased by Rs.10 and tax on a kilo of sugar has been increased by Rs. 12 with effect from midnight Wednesday, the Finance Ministry said.

The levy increases are expected to benefit the local potato farmers and the sugar industry. According to the Department of Agriculture, the increase in import duties on potatoes would protect the local farmers as they expect a plentiful harvest. The Department says 40,000 metric tons of potatoes have been produced in the Badulla District alone. The potato harvest will reach the market at the end of next month.

Meanwhile, the Consumer Affairs Authority said the tax increase on sugar would have no impact on the consumers because the control price of sugar will remain unchanged at Rs. 95 per kilo. A loose kilo of sugar should be sold at Rs. 88.

The government has decided to strictly implement the maximum retail price on the sale of sugar. The concession on the drastic decline in the price of sugar in the international market is to be transferred to the sugar industrialists.