The Ministry of Finance and Media says a price hike of sugar will not be permitted as the international price of sugar has been drastically reduced due to excess sugar in the world market.
The price of a kilo of sugar imported to Sri Lanka has been reduced from Rs 75 per kilo to 55 per kg due to the large scale yield of sugar-producing countries such as India, Thailand and Brazil.
The Special Commodity Levy of Rs 31 imposed on sugar has been eliminated and imported sugar has been placed under normal tax structure to avoid any disadvantages on local sugar manufacturers due to the drop of prices in world market.
Accordingly, as per the new tax structure, effective from yesterday (18), the imported sugar per kilogram will be taxed Rs 42, under tariff, port charges and Nation Building Tax structures.
According to the Finance Ministry sugar importers will still gain profit even after new tax rates are imposed when compared to the price reduction in the open market.
Therefore, the government has decided to take strict action under the Consumer Affairs Authority Act if importers and distributors increase the retail price of sugar.
The maximum retail price of sugar has been removed with the intention of giving consumers the advantage as sugar prices have been regularly decreasing for the past several years.
However, if the need arises, the maximum retail price will be reinstated, the release further stated.