Aug 01, Colombo: The Sri Lankan government plans to rehabilitate four sugar plants with the view to increase local production up to 40 percent of the annual sugar requirement of the country by 2020.
The Cabinet has granted approval to a proposal put forward by the Minister of Sugar Industry Development Lakshman Seneviratne to develop the Kantale, Hingurana, Sevenagala and Pelwatte Sugar Industries.
The Officials' Committee appointed by the Cabinet to make recommendations for the rehabilitation of the four Sugar Industries has considered the Minister's proposals and approved the measures.
Accordingly, 27,567 hectares of land belonging to Kantale, Hingurana, Sevenagala and Pelwatte Sugar Industries will be leased out for a period of 99 years to Lanka Sugar Co. (Pvt.) Ltd. which is a 100% Government owned company.
The move is aimed at increasing the company's equity capital enabling it to obtain the required financial facilities for the development of the four Industries.
Under the proposal, Kantale Sugar Industry will be developed and modernized with the assistance of the Czech Republic.
Further, the cabinet has approved allocating blocks of land to farmers for sugarcane cultivation by entering into forward contracts with the farmers for the purchase of sugarcane.
Priority will be given to the farmers who are already engaged in sugarcane cultivation and farmers who are residents of the Districts where the relevant lands are situated.
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.