ISSN: 1391 - 0531
Sunday November 18, 2007
Vol. 42 - No 25

Prices of 1000 imported items going up

~ Excise duty and cess hikes upped after Budget proposals

By Malik Gunatilleke

The government has announced an increase in excise duty and cess on more than one thousand imported items following last week’s budget proposals.

The increase means that consumers, reeling under the spiralling cost of living, have to pay more for these items. Imported meat products, fruits, vegetables, dairy products, refrigerators, air conditioners, dish washers and vehicles are some of the items that will go up in price with the increase in taxes.

Dairy products such as cheese, butter and ice-cream will carry an additional Rs. 50 a Kg cess while the additional cess on meat products, including mutton, pork and lamb, will be Rs. 175 per Kg.The cess on imported shrimps and prawns will go up to 25% while bananas and dates will be charged an extra Rs.75 and Rs.50 per kg respectively.

Prices of items such as potatoes, beans, olives, tomatoes, pineapples, mangoes, oranges and papaw – either in canned form or fruit form – and bottled or canned fruit juices will also rise following an increased cess on these items. Retail prices on many electrical goods such as watches, alarm clocks and building material such as paint and roof tiles will also go up with the cess on these items reaching as high as 25 percent.

Playing cards will also cost more as the government has imposed an additional Rs. 40 tax on a pack. A cess of Rs.40 per litre has been imposed on mineral water in addition to a Rs.6 per litre excise duty. Prices of foreign-made vehicles will also go up drastically as importers will have to pay excise duties ranging from Rs. 156,000 to Rs. 500,000 per vehicle.

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