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* Sri Lanka to boost sugar production
Wed, Dec 4, 2013, 11:37 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Dec 04, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government has taken several measures to boost the country's sugar production, Minister of Sugar Industry Development Lakshman Seneviratne said.

Minister Seneviratne said that the government annually spends Rs. 60 billion for sugar imports to meet the country's requirement and the government is seeking investors to restart the sugar factories that are dormant now.

According to the Minister, under the management of state-owned Lanka Sugar production (private) Ltd. the Pelawatte and Sevenagala sugar factories, which have been expropriated by the government in 2011, have achieved a rapid progress during the last year.

The Minister said the government plans to open the now dormant Kantale sugar factory and is in the process of seeking investors. The government has obtained cabinet approval to restart the factory.

The government has identified 120,000 hectares of land suitable for sugar cane cultivation and the government will soon obtain the cabinet approval to acquire the land. Meanwhile, Pakistan has come forward to establish a new sugar factory in Sri Lanka. During his visit to Colombo last month, Pakistan's Federal Minister for Industries and Production Ghulam Murtaza Jatoi and Minister Seneviratne have discussed setting up sugar industries in Sri Lanka with the assistance of Pakistan.

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