President instructs to monitor irregularities in passing on tax benefits to public

President instructs to monitor irregularities in passing on tax benefits to public

January 13, 2020   10:06 pm

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has given instructions to the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) and the Inland Revenue Department to closely monitor situations where tax relief benefits do not reach the public.

The President has accordingly instructed relevant authorities to keep an eye on large-scale wholesale importers, manufacturers, distributors and small retailers, President’s Media Division (PMD) said today.

A communique issued by the PMD read that the Presidential Secretariat has been receiving complaints that the public does not receive the benefits of Value Added Taxes (VAT) reduction on the sale of retail, wholesale and imported goods.

Reports have been received that wholesale distributors do not allow retailers to benefit from the tax concessions and that a few of the wholesale distributors and manufacturers have taken control of the market arbitrarily, by disregarding fair trade and competitive market practices.

The Presidential Secretariat has urged local manufacturers to provide tax benefits to the public.

Press Release:

Presidential Secretariat continues to receive complaints from the general public as well as reports from both print and electronic media that the tax benefits particularly from the reduction of VAT on the sale of goods at both retail, wholesale and import points effective from 1st December 2019 has not passed on to the consumers.

Among such goods, hardware, ceramics, cement and other building materials, cosmetics and day-today household items, garments, school books and several other goods are being mentioned. Further, several retail traders have informed that wholesale distributors have not given such benefits to retail businesses and it is few wholesale distributors and manufacturers control the market disrespecting fair trade and competitive practices. Domestic manufacturers are also requested to pass tax benefits to the people in doing their business in a competitive manner.

His Excellency the President has instructed the Consumers Affairs Authority and Inland Revenue Department to closely monitor this situation and also urged the business community, importers, manufacturers, wholesale and retail distributors to ensure full benefit of tax reduction is passed onto the consumers and general public. Such business community is also urged to create public awareness through media briefings and other form of information releases to ensure competitive practices are respected to the benefit of all. Business community is reminded that the Government is compelled to take all policy measures to ensure anti-competitive market practices are not tolerated. Relevant authorities, particularly the Inland Revenue Department have been instructed to check all large wholesale importers, manufacturers and distributors in this regard as small retail trade depends on large distributors.

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