Dec 06, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Ministry of Finance has banned the importation of spices and minor crops from midnight Thursday (05) to protect the local farmers.
As a measure to protect small export crops growers and small and medium scale industrialists, the importation of several commodities is restricted through two gazetted notifications with effect from midnight Thursday (Dec 05) on the orders of the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa in his capacity as Minister of Finance, Economic and Policy Development, the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
Accordingly, the importation of black pepper, dried areca nut, tamarind, cinnamon, nutmeg, mace, cardamom, ginger and cloves has been banned while the gazette notifications issued under Commercial Hub Regulations in the Finance Act, Direct Re-export and Import of spices for the purpose of re-export after minor processing are prohibited.
The purpose of the ban is to protect and encourage small export crop growers and small and medium scale industrialists. Farmers who cultivate agro products in about 9 districts will benefit from the ban.
A second gazette notification issued in accordance with the Regulation of the Import and Export Control Act has taken steps to regulate the importation of products of highly competitive domestic industries of higher quality such as Wesak lanterns, kites and incense sticks
Furthermore, any project related to garbage and garbage processing and recycling for the purpose of reshipment or re-export will not be permitted. . However, there is no prohibition on domestic projects on recycling.
This restriction will prevent the mixing of low quality imported ingredients with high quality local ingredients and re-exporting.
The Prime Minister, as the Minister of Finance, has taken this step to prevent the damage to Sri Lanka's reputation as an export brand due to substandard re-exports.