Oct 01, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Ministry of Industry and Commerce Rishad Bathiudeen said the much sought after anti-dumping legislation protecting Sri Lankan industries has been cleared by the Attorney General and is ready to be presented to the parliament.
"We are planning to present the draft Anti-Dumping Bill to the Parliament," Minister Bathiudeen said addressing the 26th AGM of Industry Association of Sri Lanka (IASL) on Friday (September 27) in Colombo.
According to the Minister, Sri Lankan industries have been assured that the Free Trade Agreements (FTAs) being mooted with several countries will not affect them and will not result in an imports dump that is feared by the domestic manufacturers.
Addressing the event Chairman of IASL Dinesh Dharmadasa said the industries operate in challenging environments, but with the help of Government Agencies including the Ministry of Industry and Commerce, some of these have been overcome. He said the FTAs to be signed by Sri Lanka could bring forth numerous new challenges.
"We thank the Government for starting a dialogue with the industries and hope these dialogues will continue to facilitate viable operations of Sri Lankan Industries once the FTAs are signed and open up new opportunities for our members. We like to mention that any further liberation of trade must be done after few basic safeguards like Anti-Dumping legislation and lowering of duties of raw materials for local manufacture of finished products," Dharmadasa said.
Responding to IASL Chairman Minister Bathiudeen said the Sri Lankan industries appear to be worried about impacts of FTAs and dumping and assured that the policy of the unity government is to support development of industries and the government will not enter into such agreements without consulting local industries and protecting them first.
"We are looking at new steps on anti-dumping and my officials are studying issues on this. The Department of Commerce is a key institution working in this regard. In fact we are planning to present the draft Anti-Dumping Bill to the Parliament in the coming two-three weeks," the Minister said.
Last year, Minister Bathiudeen, jointly with the Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade Malik Samarawickrama proposed the Anti-Dumping legislation to the Cabinet and received the go-ahead to proceed. Being cleared by the Attorney General, the bill is now being translated to be presented to the Parliament.
The key focus of the Anti-Dumping bill is to counter unfair trade practices.