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Navin devolves rubber sector to State Minister

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Plantation Minister Navin Dissanayake on Friday announced that he will devolve the rubber sector, to his State Minister A.D. Champika Premadasa shortly.

“I believe in devolving decision making to other people also. I have too much of duties and responsibilities now. I have to look after the tea and coconut sectors, while also looking after the other functions in the UNP now,” he told a workshop on rubber and oil palm development of the regional plantation companies (RPCs) held at The Grand Monarch in Talawathugoda.

Dissanayake said the ministry has already sent the gazette notification devolving rubber sector to State Minister Premadasa.

Dissanayake was appointed as the UNP’s National Organizer in May, after the party appointed new office bearers and proposed internal reforms and restructure.

He said the Ministry has already sent the gazette notification devolving the rubber sector to State Minister Premadasa, which will be published in the next couple of days.

The Minster recalled how frustrating it was for him, when he had absolutely no role working as a Deputy Minister when he was new to politics.

“As a young Deputy Minister, I remember how I was extremely frustrated and unhappy in my role as when there were no functions or duties assigned to me, I took up on subjects forcefully and did. I feel that as State Minister is a non-Cabinet rank, he should be given a role to play in the Ministry,” Dissanayake pointed out.

The Minister called on the rubber industry stakeholders to have an active and dynamic relationship with the State Minister in resolving any issues related to the sector.

Plantation and Industries State Ministry Secretary R. Wijialudchumi reiterated that Minister Dissanayake has devolved powers to the State Minister, creating an opportunity for them to get involved to the best of their ability in developing the plantation sector, particularly the rubber industry. 

According to her, around 60% of the natural rubber production is used locally in manufacturing and value addition industries. 

“Rubber plays a significant role in national economy and Sri Lanka produces some of the world’s best quality natural rubber. Considering the demand and the challenges we need to adopt advanced technologies and marketing techniques to achieve global competitiveness for the rubber industries,” she highlighted.

She said the global demand for natural rubber is still higher than supply because certain value added rubber products need natural rubber mainly for health and transport sectors. Thereby, Wijialudchumi called on the industry to find ways and means for better agriculture practices and environmental safeguard methods to achieve short and long term benefits in rubber cultivation and rubber based industries.       (CdeS)


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