Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena announced in Parliament that the Central Bank Governor Dr. Nandalal Weerasinghe has pledged that VAT will not be levied on tea leaves plucked by tea smallholders in the country.
The Speaker said that the Central Bank Governor had given this pledge when he discussed with him recently regarding the related problem.
Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena said this in response to a question raised by Matara District MP Weerasumana Weerasinghe in Parliament.
The MP Weerasinghe said that if VAT is charged from the suppliers of tea leaves in this way, they will have to suffer a lot of difficulties and that the Inland Revenue Department and the of Plantation Industries Ministry should jointly implement a program for this issue.
He added that there is an attempt to tax the agro-industrial sector due the increase of VAT recently as never before. “Seeds and fertilizers are too taxed. But it is reported that a certain amount of fertilizer will be taxed. But there is no regulation for fertilizers related to tea. Today, the price of fertilizers has been increased in various ways. Each area has different prices. The VAT will affect the economy of tea. There is the question of whether the VAT is charged from the tea industrialist, the auctioneer, the tea smallholders or suppliers of the raw tea leaves,” he asked.
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