Sri Lanka raises duty on imported edible oil

Dec 04, 2008 (LBO) – Sri Lanka has raised import duty on edible oil by changing it from a 28 percent rate to a specific levy of 40 rupees a kilo, in a bid to keep domestic coconut oil prices high, a government minister said. The Cabinet had also given approval to the ministry of finance and plantations industry ministry to change the duties by a gazette notification, whenever thought necessary.

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A note to Sri Lanka’s cabinet of ministers submitted by deputy finance minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya has said that the price of imported edible oil has fallen to 65,000 rupees a metric tonne in November from 100,000 rupees in January 2008.

“The coconut industry has been hit by the import of palm oil,” information minister Anura Yapa told reporters Thursday.

The government will impose a 40 rupee tax instead of the 28 percent duty, whichever is higher.

A 40 rupee a kilo levy on imported oil which had now come down to 65,000 rupees a metric tonne would work out to an effective duty rate of 61.5 percent.