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SJB reveals fraud behind maize import tax slash

Thursday, 24 August 2023 00:26 –      – 174

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MP Rohini Kumari Wijerathna


 

  • MP Rohini Wijerathna says 100,000 maize farmers will be affected by decision 
  • Claims major tax frauds being committed now are mostly linked to import of goods
  • Accuses Govt. of slashing maize import taxes amidst opposition of Agri officials
  • Stresses Govt. will suffer significant loss due to tax reduction

Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Rohini Kumari Wijerathna yesterday in Parliament aired the difficulties faced by the country’s maize farmers in light of the recent decision by the Government to slash maize import taxes.

“In recent times many of the major tax frauds that take place are linked to the import of goods. This is evidenced by incidents such as the scams connected to the import of sugar, coconut oil and fertilisers. The latest is this maize scam,” she alleged.

The MP highlighted that the Government will face significant losses by reducing the import tax on maize from Rs. 75 to a paltry Rs. 25 per kilogram. “The maize requirement is currently at 650,000 Metric Tonnes. If we import 100,000 Metric Tonnes, consider the loss suffered by the Government due to the slashed taxes,” Wijerathna noted.

The MP said the move will also severely affect the 100,000 maize farmers spread across the country in rural areas of Matale, Wilgamuwa, Mahiyanganaya, Girandurukotte, Monaragala, Hambantota, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa.

In her statement, she expressed concern for farmers who are already grappling with challenges posed by the Sena caterpillar invasion. She emphasised that these farmers are now poised to confront even more severe consequences due to the recently revised import tax. The MP went on to accuse the Government of making the decision to reduce the tax despite facing strong opposition from officials within the Ministry of Agriculture and field officers.

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