President Ranil Wickremesinghe, who serves as both the Minister of Finance, Economic Stabilization, and National Policies, has announced a decision to waive the remaining Special Commodity Levy on imported Dates in honor of the upcoming Ramadan festival.
The order, effective immediately, applies to Dates received as gifts or donations from foreign governments, organizations, business entities, volunteer associations, and well-wishers.
The levy, initially set at Rs. 200 per kilogram, will now be collected at a reduced rate of Rs. 1 per kilogram, with the remaining balance waived off. The waiver will be implemented on the recommendation of the Secretary of the Ministry of Buddhasasana, Religious, and Cultural Affairs.
The decision was made in accordance with the Gazette Notification No. 2308/17, published on November 30, 2022. The President’s Order is a timely gesture that reflects Sri Lanka’s recognition of the importance of the upcoming Ramadan festival to its Muslim population.
The move is also indicative of the government’s commitment to fostering a climate of religious tolerance and respect for all faiths.
The Sri Lankan government has a long-standing tradition of promoting religious coexistence and harmony, and this decision to waive the remaining Special Commodity Levy on imported Dates is a further reflection of this commitment.
The President’s announcement is expected to be well-received by the Muslim community and is likely to enhance the already positive relationship between the government and the country’s Muslim population.
Overall, this decision is a commendable move by the Sri Lankan government, demonstrating its commitment to promoting religious harmony and inclusivity, while also recognizing the cultural significance of the Ramadan festival to the Muslim community.