In response to a query made by the Parliamentary Finance Committee on the benefits of reducing sugar tax to several large sugar importers, a report submitted by the Ministry of Finance states that it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Commerce to pass on the benefit of tax reduction to consumers.
The report states that the Ministry of Finance can only intervene to determine the quantity and price of imported sugar, and that their fair distribution and determination of a retail price affordable to the public is not within the purview of the Ministry of Finance and is instead under the Ministry of Commerce and the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA).
The report further states that consumers did not get the expected benefit fast from the decision to reduce the sugar tax due to the monopoly market structure and the inefficiency of the CAA in controlling the maximum retail price.
The Ministry of Trade is headed by Minister Bandula Gunawardena and the Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Authority is retired Major General DMS Dissanayake.
The extent of sugar tax fraud
A gazette notification has revealed that the government has lost Rs. 15.9 billion due to the decision to reduce the tax on sugar imports from Rs. 50 to 25 cents. This was revealed by a report submitted by the Ministry of Finance to the Finance Committee in Parliament yesterday (09).
The report also states that the total amount of money lost or part of it has been received by a group of 07 import companies.
From October 14, 2020 to February 20, 2021, one institution accounted for 39.02% of the country's sugar imports, while six other companies accounted for 46% of the country's sugar imports, the report said.
Furthermore, 07 companies are responsible for 85% of the country's sugar imports.
As 'The Leader' continued to expose this serious fraud, some members of the Samagi Jana Balawegaya tried to silence their group of MPs, saying it was untrue. It was later revealed that the MPs were on the payroll of the businessman involved in the sugar racket.
However, certain SJB parliamentarians such as Eran Wickramaratne, Dr. Harsha de Silva, Harin Fernando and Ranjith Madduma Bandara were involved in exposing this sugar scam.
National People's Power (NPP) MP Anura Kumara Dissanayake also exposed the sugar scam in Parliament as seen below.
Expect more undisclosed information about the deal made by the government and opposition leaders with the sugar mafia in the future.