S Lanka urged to withdraw new tax on agri products

Islamabad—The Pakistani exporters on Monday urged the Sri Lankan government to withdraw its decision of levying new tax on the import of agriculture products as it would affect Pakistani exports to the country. “With the imposition of new ‘Special Commodity Tax’ by Sri Lanka, the duties on many export items from Pakistan have been doubled,” Chief Executive Officer of Harvest Trading Ahmad Jawad said.

He said that Sri Lanka was the major importer of onion, potato and kinnow from Pakistan and the decision of levying new tax would affect overall exports. “This is the kinnow season so the decision would affect the exports of this citrus fruit,” Ahmed Jawad said and urged the Sri Lankan government not to enhance duties on agriculture products from Pakistan.

Duty on Kinnow has been increased from $2.19 per 13 kilograms to $4.47 and onion from 9 cents to 22 cents per kilogram and on potato from 4.5 cents to 30 cents per kilogram, he added. He was of the view that Kinnow export to Sri Lanka will be reduced by 60 per cent because of the new tax which is likely to affect 13000 to 15000 tonnes of Kinnow export to Colombo this year.

On the other hand, Jawad added, Pakistan exported almost 35,000 tonnes of potatoes last year. He said that despite the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) signed between Pakistan and Sri Lanka, the export of commodities like fruit and vegetables from Pakistan to Sri Lanka will be affected.

“The recently imposed tax has started affecting the exports of agricultural products to Sri Lanka which may reduce the over all exports of the country”, Jawad said.

A Special Commodity Tax has been imposed by Sri Lanka on imported cultural products such as Green Gram, Black Gram, and others to protect its domestic farmers for three months. It may be recalled that there is no additional duty on imports of Pan, Chalia, Coconut Powder, Pineapple, and others from Sri Lanka to Pakistan.

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