Gem sector woes head to National Economic Council

Saturday, 1 September 2018 00:00 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

President Maithripala Sirisena has decided to direct the issues faced by the gem industrialists to the National Economic Council, Minister Rajitha Senaratne said.

The Minister made this disclosure during a meeting held with the relevant stakeholders of the industry to resolve the issues faced by the Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association.

Attention has also been drawn to exempt earnings from the export of gem and jewellery from income tax, Colombopage reported. The 0.5% export services fee by the Gem and Jewellery Authority has been seen by the industry as hampering exports. Other industry issues had also been discussed at the meeting.

The representatives of the Gem and Jewellery Association have pointed out that Sri Lanka is losing about $ 500 million foreign exchange annually due to current export policies.

The Gem and Jewellery Association states that the gems business is centred, including Madagascar, Nigeria and Mozambique, and there is a trend of declining income.

Minister Rajitha Senaratne emphasised that President Maithripala Sirisena has decided to discuss these issues of the gem industrialists at the National Economic Council (NEC) when it next meets.