Sri Lanka slashes import taxes on edible oils, potatoes

Nov 01, 2010 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has slashed import taxes on vegetable oils, potatoes and onions to encourage imports as local prices rose, a senior finance ministry official said. S R Attygalle, director general fiscal policy, said the import tax on coconut oil has been cut to 15 rupees a kilo or 15 percent, whichever is higher, from the previous rate of 35 rupees.

Fresh coconut prices have increased steeply over the past two months as more nuts were used to make coconut oil as imported vegetable oil prices went up.

It also increased the costs for export industries like desiccated coconut (DC).

Attygalle told Vimasuma.com, our sister news website, that import tax on other vegetable oils had been reduced to 10 rupees a kilo from 35 rupees.

The lower import taxes will ensure increased availability of vegetable oils on the market and enable more coconuts to be diverted to coconut oil mills and DC exporters.

The import tax on a kilo of potatoes had been cut to 10 rupees from 30 rupees and on ‘B onions’ to 10 rupees from 25 rupees.

Import taxes had been raised earlier to protect farmers during harvest time.

But now with increasing consumer pricse mor