Monday, 13 November 2023 09:57

IRD probe into recent sugar import scam Featured

A comprehensive investigation is now underway on the alleged importation of an unusually large amount of sugar days before the special commodity levy hike to Rs. 50 from 25 cents per kg came in effect on November 2, Finance Ministry sources said.

The Inland Revenue Department (IRD) has initiated an audit inspection to find out whether the sugar importers had gained undue profits due to the increase in the Special Commodity Levy on sugar, State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said.

The ministry has been directed to conduct an internal inquiry into this matter as it was the second time that the same incident by the same importer was reported in the country. There were contradictory data in the public domain on the importation of stocks of sugar ranging from 80,000MT to 100,000MT recently.

The Committee on Public Finance (COPF) issued a directive instructing the Ministry of Finance to impose an income tax on companies that made gains due to the ‘midnight gazette’ on sugar imports. COPF Chairman Dr. Harsha De Silva said customs data had revealed that companies that usually import only 2,000 MT of sugar monthly, had imported 10,000 MT sugar just before the tax was increased.


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