State Minister for Finance, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, has expressed concerns over a surge in container imports, suggesting that importers are intentionally accelerating the import process to capitalize on the impending increase inValue Added Tax (VAT) from January.
According to the minister, the daily import volume, which was typically around 700 containers, has abruptly risen to over 1000 containers, causing congestion at the port for their timely release.
Minister Siyambalapitiya alleges that importers are strategically aiming to clear their goods before the VAT hike to 18% takes effect on January 1st.
This move is perceived as an attempt to sell the goods at a higher price, taking advantage of the increased VAT. He has called for media intervention to address and discourage such practices, emphasizing the need for collective responsibility to prevent potential exploitation of the tax adjustment.