The Committee on Public Finance (COPF) is of the opinion that the regulations published in Extraordinary Government Gazette Notification 2296/30, under the Import and Export Control Act No. 1 of 1969 should be subject to of a more in-depth examination.
The Committee added that consideration should also be given to whether endorsement of such regulations would be justifiable by the consumer.
The Parliament of Sri Lanka said this was discussed at the Public Finance Committee meeting held yesterday (01) under the chairmanship of MP (Dr) Harsha de Silva.
This gazette has been published in connection with a temporary suspension of the importation of sanitary ware and bath articles such as toilet bowls and sinks.
In addition, the members of the Committee also took into consideration the monopoly created in the market due to the prohibition of the importation of tiles by the same Gazette.
The Committee also considered the fact that in an environment where imports have been suspended, the sharp rise in prices of bathroom fixtures and tiles and the failure to meet growing demands are causing great injustice to the consumer. Accordingly, the committee recommended that the Department of Finance submit a report in this regard.
The regulations under the Imports and Exports (Control) Act referred to in Extraordinary Gazette Notification No. 2298/55 were also considered at the meeting of the Committee at which approval was granted. This Gazette will allow foreign workers to import electric motor vehicles based on the value of their remittances.
The regulations under the Import and Export (Control) Law referred to in Extraordinary Gazette Notification No. 2297/79 were also discussed at the Committee meeting. This aims to extend the period for importing essential food items under an open account system.
The committee paid attention to the basis on which the quantities to be imported of rice, maize and other items into Sri Lanka were decided.
In addition, Committee members drew attention to the importation of excess rice and its blending for sale. Furthermore, since the import of raw materials needed for the production of animal feed is of concern, it was noted that the egg and poultry industry is in a dire state and therefore the prices of eggs and poultry increased.
After investigating these circumstances, the Committee expressed its dissatisfaction with the absence of any data-based information in this regard and recommended the competent authorities to submit a report containing clear data to the Committee within 02 months. .
In addition, the finance bill for the year 2023 was discussed in the public finance committee and the members of the committee questioned the optimism of the Ministry of Finance regarding the estimates presented in this budget. The idea that more attention should be paid to low-income people in this year’s budget was also discussed by the Committee.
Minister of State for Finance Hon. Shehan Semasinghe, Minister of State Hon. (Dr) Suren Raghavan, Members of Parliament Hon. Anura Priyadharshana Yapa, Hon. Chandima Weerakkody, Hon. (Professor) Ranjith Bandara, Hon. Madhura Withanage, Hon. Premnath C. Dolawatte and many officials were present at this Committee meeting. (NewsWire)