Dec 08, Colombo: Gazette Notification for ordering gems up to USD 3000, online received the approval of the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Industries Monday at the Committee meeting held in Parliament.
It was discussed that these steps have been taken to promote the gem and Jewellery industry as tourism has been subjected to restrictions given the prevailing COVID situation. The gazette notification has also reduced the 0.5 percent fee, charged by the Gem and Jewellery Authority to 0.25 percent.
Gazette Notification No. 2165/2 containing Regulations made by the Minister of Industries under the National Gem and Jewellery Authority Act No. 50 of 1993 was thus approved by the Committee.
Secretary to the Ministry of Industries, Retired General Daya Rathnayake and officials were present at the Committee meeting chaired by Wimal Weerawansa, Minister of Industries with the participation of Lohan Ratwatte, State Minister of Gem & Jewellery related Industries, Dayasiri Jayasekara, State Minister of Batik, Handloom and Local Apparel Products.
Discussions were also held on the suspension of a gem mining project in the Ratnapura ‘Veganga’ area due to a protest. Accordingly, State Minister Ratwatte stated that the matter should be taken into discussion at the special development committee meeting emphasizing the importance of the need to implement this program which will bring in a large amount of revenue to the country.
Discussions were held on the possibility of general public joining the gem mining business by way of establishing a gem licensing system in the Elahera area. The licenses will be issued from next January, the state minister said.
The Members of Parliament also drew the attention of the Committee to the issues related to various industrial estates and industries in the island. The Minister instructed the relevant officials to take immediate action to resolve them in coordination with the relevant officials or to submit detailed reports to the next committee.