Last update: 13-Dec-2013 3:20 am
Friday, December 13, 2013
Trinidad & Tobago Guardian Online
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Remove duties on rice, sugar, says grocer
Supermarket owner, Balliram Maharaj, yesterday called on Finance Minister Larry Howai to remove the duties that the State collects on sugar and rice as a means of fostering pverty reduction and promoting sustainable food production. In a six-page letter to the Minister of Finance, Maharaj cited a list of food items, which he said are used three times a day, including wheat, dairy, beans, sugar, rice and corn.
According to Maharaj: “In order to maintain food prices at an affordable level to the consumer, it is imperative that we re-examine the duties and taxes attached to these food products, which are not now grown, nor will they be in the near future in T&T.” Maharaj said sugar can be imported at 35 per cent less than it is now if the duty on it was removed, while the price of rice would be 25 per cent lower.
“I therefore respectfully suggest that duties presently levied on these products be removed in order to make them more affordable to our population,” Maharaj told the minister. He also had advice for the minister on plastic bags, crime and he suggested the introduction of an alcohol surcharge. Maharaj is the chief executive of ADM Import & Export Distributors Ltd.
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