Rs. 10 Billion Loss to Government

Wasantha Samarasinghe - JVP

The JVP lodged a complaint with the CID yesterday (4), regarding the loss of Rs. 10 billion in tax revenue to the Government, following the amendment of the tax imposed on sugar, via Gazette Notifications.

JVP politburo member, Wasantha Samarasinghe, alleged that this is an organised financial crime where acquaintances of the Government engaged in sugar imports have benefited from the change in tax imposed on sugar.

He charged the financial fraud has been carried out with the support of all entities including the Ministry of Finance and Gazette Notifications have been used to benefit certain importers.

Ex-SATHOSA Chairman and Chairman of Wilma Group were named as respondents to the complaint alleging that the duo was behind the loss of a sum of Rs 10 billion, he alleged.

The JVP stated this action had clearly flouted provisions of the Penal Code and the Code of Criminal Procedure. They said former SATHOSA Chairman Nushad Perera and owner of the Wilma Group should be apprehended in this connection forthwith and produce them in Court.

The JVP also charged that when the Government had set the wholesale price of a kilo of sugar at Rs 80 and the retail price at Rs 85, ex-SATHOSA head Nushad Perera had purchased 700 metric tons of sugar at Rs 127 per kilo on 13 October last year, 700 metric tons of sugar at Rs 121 per kilo two days later, 750 metric tons of sugar at Rs 92 per kilo on 20 October and 600 metric tons of sugar at Rs 110 per kilo two days later.

They charged that by the end of last year, some 200,000 metric tons of sugar had been imported and alleged that 100,000 metric tons of this stock had been imported by the Wilma Group. Samarasinghe alleged that due to the decision taken to allow a few businessmen with close links to the current regime to pilfer public funds, presently a kilo of sugar is being sold at Rs 110 in the market.

He also charged that due to these actions not only the people are suffering but the Government had also lost a sizeable amount of revenue to the State coffers.

The complaint was lodged by Samarasinghe and Attorney-at-Law Sunil Watagala.

(Source: Ceylon Today – By Faadhila Thassim and Anuradha Herath)