June 16, Colombo: Sri Lanka President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has decided to stop the importation of handloom and batik textiles, with the aim of uplifting producers in the industry and to attract more producers.
The decision has been taken during a discussion at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday on the problems faced by those who are engaged in textiles and garment industries.
It was discussed at length to provide a greater market opportunity for readymade apparel produced using local textiles than to the products based on imported fabrics. The measure is expected to save a large amount of foreign exchange drawn to other countries.
The President emphasized that high quality should be maintained when producing textiles for school uniforms and various other uniforms. It was also decided to deploy a supervisory team.
The President also emphasized the importance of opening up the textile products market owned by few to other interested investors.
Readymade apparel manufacturers and local traders should collectively make decisions and create a wider market, the President said and stressed the need to set up a trading center for buyers of other countries to purchase garments wholesale.
The issues of quality and prices of yarn and chemical colors imported from foreign countries were also discussed at length.
Minister Wimal Weerawansa, Secretary to the President Dr. PB Jayasundara, Industry and Commerce Ministry Secretary JA Ranjith, Chief of Defense Staff and Commander of the Army Lieutenant General Shavendra Silva, Dr. Seetha Arambapola and a group of businessmen in the apparel and textile industry were also present at the discussion.