(Daily News) Sri Lanka - Oct 17 1:20 PM - The Plantation Ministry hasproposed the imposition of an import tax on all palm oil products in nextyear's budget with a view to control the increasing flow of palm oil intothe country.
Ministry sources told the Daily News that the step was aimed at improvingthe country's coconut industry which has been severely affected by theimportation of palm oil.
Accordingly, it has been proposed that a Rs 3,000 tax be imposed on eachtonne of palm oil imported to the local market.
According to Ministry statistics, Sri Lanka imports palm oil worth 1.6million of the country's total coconut production annually for cookingpurposes.
"This has discouraged the local coconut oil industry and made it a netloser in recent years," the spokesman said.
It is also reported that the majority of palm oil brands imported to SriLanka are low in quality than coconut oil.
"The genuine palm oil which is equal to coconut oil in quality is producedout of the kernel of the palm. However, most palm oil brands imported toSri Lanka are those produced from the husk. But consumers are unaware ofthis," CCB Chairman H.A.J Gunathilaka said.
An estimated Rs 550 million is expected to be collected out of theproposed import tax which is to be spent on improving the coconut industryand other related industries.