Import duty on big onions up by Rs. 15 per kilo

By Dasun Edirisinghe

Import duty on a kilo of big onion had been increased by Rs. 15 from yesterday to protect the local farmers, Minister of Co-operatives and Internal Trade Johnston Fernando said.

He said that the decision was taken after discussion with Treasury Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundera on the direction of President Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Fernando said that the import duty on a kilo of big onions stood at Rs. 35 and with yesterday’s increase it went up to Rs. 50.

"We are buying big onions at Rs. 90 per kilo at present and we will maintain the market price at Rs. 100 per kilo during the festive season," he said.

The minister said that Lanka Sathosa had started buying big onion from the local market at Rs. 90 per kilo since November 26 and 900,000 kilos of onions had been bought so far at a cost of Rs. 81 million.

The government set up big onion collecting centres at Bakamuna and Bulnewa yesterday. Fernando said those were in addition to the purchasing centres at Dewahuwa, Dambulla, Kandalama and Galewela.

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