Sri Lanka tea trade wins demand on export tax usage

Sri Lanka's Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe arrives with flowers to receive blessings at the Gangaramaya Buddhist Temple, Colombo, Sri Lanka on Wednesday 4 April 2018. On wednesday (4), Wickremesinghe survived a no-confidence motion in the Sri Lankan parliament with a 46 vote majority after a 12-hour debate with 122 MPs voted in his support while 76 MPs voting to remove the prime minister. (Photo by Tharaka Basnayaka/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

June 22 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s tea trade has won a greater say in how funds raised from a tax on tea exports are spent by the government, a
senior industry official said. . Colombo Tea Traders’ Association (CTTA) chairman Tyeab Akbarally said
the government had acceded to industry demands and agreed to give it
representation in an official body in charge of the funds.

The industry has long complained that funds raised from a cess on tea
exports were being misused by the government and not spent to make
improvements in the industry.

But now a CTTA representative had been included in the committee in
charge of the funds collected from the tea export cess.

“I’m pleased to say that the Plantations Industries Ministry has just
informed us that a CTTA representative will be included in the cess
committee,” Akbarally told the 113th annual general meeting of the
Colombo Tea Traders’ Association (CTTA).

The tea industry, one of the island’s main exports and foreign
exchange earners, had previously not been consulted on tea-related
issues, even when taxes were increased, he said.

But the government now had a better appreciation of the industry’s