The Finance Ministry has waived taxes imposed on the imported rice with immediate effect. They are Rs 50 Customs levy (Rs. 5)) , VAT (15%), airport and harbour tax (7.5%) and NBT (2%) imposed on each kilo of imported rice. Instead, a 15-rupee special tax had been imposed on each imported kilo of rice, a spokesman for the Finance Ministry said.
The tax relief would be given only for imported Samba, Red Kekulu and Nadu varieties but not for the Basmati varieties, the spokesman said.
The decision on the tax reduction had been taken by the Cabinet Sub Committee on Cost of Living, the spokesman said, adding that it had been in view of the increasing local rice prices following the prevailing drought situation and to provide relief to the general public.