Help for biz hit by import restrictions

Friday, 15 May 2020 00:22 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}



  • Cabinet approves Committee headed by Treasury Secy. 
  • Companies affected by import suspension announced by Govt. in April asked to appeal to Finance Ministry for solutions 

A committee headed by the Treasury Secretary has been appointed to consider appeals by local companies struggling with wide ranging imports suspension announced last month, an official said yesterday. 

Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Gunawardana told reporters that Treasury Secretary S.R Attygalle will head the committee and any businesses that has had their raw materials suspended by the Gazette issued last month, which gave an exhaustive list of suspended goods, which could appeal for consideration by it. 

More than half of Sri Lanka’s imports are intermediate goods needed for exports.

 “The committee headed by the Treasury Secretary will consider appeals and provide appropriate solutions,” Gunawardena said. 

Cabinet this week also approved the extensive import restrictions imposed by the Government and gazetted in mid-April. 

The Finance Ministry gazetted the list of import items that will be temporarily suspended as the Government battles to reduce pressure on reserves and keep the currency from depreciating too steeply. 

The extensive list of items was gazetted by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as Finance, Economic and Policy Development Minister. It includes a list that has temporary import suspensions and a second list where letters of credit forwarded by banks can only be applicable for three months, or till 15 July. 

Multiple types of fish, rice, cereals, coconut products, chocolate, beer, pasta, tapioca, bread, mineral water, wine and other types of alcohol are among the items in the suspended list.

Marble, granite, paint, types of iron and plastic, sanitary ware, and wood needed for the construction industry have also been inducted in the list. 

Items such as essential oils, beauty products, tableware, and a wide range of garments have also been listed. 

A secondary list gives details of imports needed for construction and other sectors that can be brought down in limited quantities and banks have to issue Letters of Credit assuring payment in 180 days.