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Taxes to be levied from importers who have earned undue profits

2 April 2024 04:26 pm - 13     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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By Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana

Parliament, April 2 (Daily Mirror)- The Ways and Means Committee has requested the Customs to handover the names of importers, who have earned undue profits last year, to the Inland Revenue Department so that they could be taxed, the Chairman of the Committee Patali Champika Ranawaka said today.

MP Ranawaka told a media briefing in Parliament that the Inland Revenue Department will charge 36 percent of their income as taxes.

“Some of the importers have  started companies temporarily to import essential items and then fraudulently changed over to other companies,” the MP added.  

Member of the Ways and Means Committee MP Dayasiri Jayasekera said some have registered companies on the names of their family members and have evaded paying Value Added Tax (VAT).

It was reported that importers of essential items such as big onions, potatoes and dried sprats have earned a total profit of Rs. 114 billion last year, the report of the Ways and Means Committee which was tabled in Parliament revealed.

The report which was tabled in the House by the Chairman of the Way and Means Committee Patali Champika Ranawaka said importers of big onions have earned a total profit of Rs. 80 billion in 2023, while importers of potatoes have earned profits of Rs 15.6 billion in 2023 and importers of dried sprats have earned a profit of Rs 18.6 billion.

The committee report said the prices of all these items have been increased by three folds despite the value of the rupee having depreciated almost twice proportionately to the US dollar.

The report has revealed that the price of a kilogram of big onions was Rs. 103 at the time the stocks were released from the Customs while the retail price was Rs. 365. The price of potatoes was Rs. 110 per kilogram while a kilogram was sold in the retail market at Rs. 203 a kilogram. The situation is the same with dried sprats as the cost of a kilogram  has been Rs. 496 while the retail price has been Rs 1,307.50 a kilogram. The importers of onion have earned a profit level of 297.2 percent per kilogram in 2023, while potatoes have earned a profit level of 85 percent per kilogram and dried sprats have earned a profit level 164 percent per kilo.


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  Comments - 13

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  • Royb Tuesday, 02 April 2024 04:53 PM

    What happens here is opposite - tax the poor and allow the importers to loot so we have great expertise.

    Kapati Tuesday, 02 April 2024 05:32 PM

    Ah! So leaving a assessment criteria? Good, we will be seeing some assessor millionaires very soon, unlike the immigration officials.

    Fact Tuesday, 02 April 2024 05:35 PM

    Joking. Unable to collect the taxes from liquor manufacturers.

    MT Tuesday, 02 April 2024 05:57 PM

    The Govt should take necessary action to rectify this situation

    ajith Tuesday, 02 April 2024 05:58 PM

    Private importers should not be allowed to import essential consumer goods in to the country. They will always exploit the consumer and make super profits. import of essential consumer goods should be handled by a government agency.

    Sambo Tuesday, 02 April 2024 07:30 PM

    Only a saying but nothing practical happens. Every misery is for the poor that makes them more poor.

    joshua Tuesday, 02 April 2024 09:17 PM

    Handover to IRD so that part of the tax can be collected as bribe by the IRD officials

    Mahila Wednesday, 03 April 2024 06:12 AM

    Joshua, Alternatively, what are your thoughts on Matter!!?? That is the Process available in Sri Lanka - the Inland Revenue Department has sole right to assess filings of P/L statement and proceed to enforce Tax??? If there are malicious acts in IRD, it's another matter and amounts Bribery, if not anything else and CIABOC must take action, who are paid for it's Function!!!??? Definitely not any others!!!??? When people are paid wages, they should perform or honourably, VACATE post due INABILITY and the GO HOME, safely and stay put there!!?? BUMMER!

    melville perera Tuesday, 02 April 2024 10:36 PM

    congratulationnl MP Patali C Ranawaka for your brilliant exposure of the importing racketeers and pray you will expose the names on receipt from customs and take the I R D to task for any neglect of duty or legal action against the culprits. The minister in charge in defence of this subject uttered a pack of BS. These racketeers should be delisted from commercial trading pending legal action The inaction of the chambers of commerce is surprising and their contribution to the benefit of the consumer is absolutely nil. The minister's probe is applicable to almost all imported consumers' items . Another classic example - Grapes as well as its by- products , raisins, sultanas, plums black currents pass thro' customs almost duty free but the market price ranges from 800/- to 1000/- p/100 grms (packetted). In similar fashion imported dates (duty free) This is a great service to the public by a concerned minister

    Kevin Wednesday, 03 April 2024 02:50 AM

    A good move at last. But will it happen?

    Premalal Perera Wednesday, 03 April 2024 09:22 AM

    This guy has a simplistic approach to a complex problem. His solution is tax everything shining. There are import taxes applicable to every imported item. So, why not control imports through this tax?

    M. Meeripane - Retired Inland Revenue Officer Wednesday, 03 April 2024 09:50 AM

    Exactly what you say is 100% true. Our dirty politicians do not know anything about Tax and squeezing the poor masses which is totally wrong.

    Dr. G.J. Dharmalingam Wednesday, 03 April 2024 09:52 AM

    We welcome to be our finance minister when the Govt. change, OfCourse, educated legends like you can work with Harsha and Eran and bring up our country to the best levels unlike now.


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