May 08, 2021
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    Committee on Public Finance approves several regulations presented under the Imports and Exports Control Act

    April 21, 2021

    The Committee on Public Finance approved several regulations under the Imports and Exports (Control) Act April (19). Accordingly, on the request of local industrialists and manufacturers, a regulation to allow the importation of saris except batik was approved by the Government Finance Committee.

    Also, after February 11, 2021, Sri Lankan industrialists will be able to import similar porcelain or Chinese clay-based sanitary ware, including bathroom sanitary ware,
    under a 180-day loan facility.

    The Commissioner General of Import and Export Damayanthi Karunaratne, presented several new regulations to the Committee on Public Finance yesterday due to the insufficiency of domestic production for certain commodities, despite the need to impose import restrictions to prevent the depreciation of the Sri Lankan rupee and protect foreign reserves in the face of the Covid situation.

    The ban on tile imports will continue and MP Prof. Ranjith Bandara stated that there is an oligarchy market situation in the country regarding the importation of tiles
    which is limited to three companies. However, the Chairman Anura Priyadarshana Yapa pointed out that according to media reports, if a tile manufacturing company makes a huge profit beyond its production cost, it must be taken into consideration.

    Therefore, the Chairman reiterated to the Department of Import and Export Control the importance of working in collaboration with a knowledgeable research unit on
    the market, not just the Ministry of Trade and Industry, in formulating import and export control laws.

    Member of the Committee on Public Finance MP Nalin Fernando, stated that although it is fair for officials to make decisions on such issues in the production and marketing under the Covid new normal situation, it should be made only after considering whether the benefits actually accrue to the consumer.

    It was also revealed at the Committee on Public Finance that local liquor manufacturers and sellers who are facing a crisis will get some relief in the face of the new normal situation of Covid-19.

    According to these concessions, hotels with and without the approval of the Tourist Board for the year 2021 only are completely exempted from paying the annual registration fee (Authorization Fee) as well as the annual liquor license fee.

    In addition, according to a gazette notification submitted to the Committee, the excise duty of Rs. 25 per liter on bottled toddy has been removed and the opening hours of toddy bars will be extended. Also, the retail limit for toddy has been increased from one liter to three liters.

    Commenting on this, the officials said that this move would benefit the local manufacturer. Then the Chairman of the Committee Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and other members drew the attention of the officials to the need to prevent the possibility of harm to the consumer by increasing the quantity of artificial toddy consumed in the market instead of natural toddy.

    Also, the regulations presented by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) under the Foreign Exchange Act to facilitate customers after a study were also discussed at the
    Public Finance Committee. MP Dr. Harsha de Silva, who was present at the meeting, drew the attention of the officials who were present at the meeting to the need to carry out such activities more prudently, especially in dealing with capital transactions, in order to avoid any risk to foreign exchange. Officials of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, who appeared before the Public Finance Committee, said they would be more expeditious in compliance with the proposal.

    Chairman of the committee MP Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, State Minister D.V Chanaka, MPs Kumara Welgama, Dr. Harsha de Silva, and Nalin Fernando were present at the meeting.



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