President Maithripala Sirisena said that he will discuss with the Cabinet of Ministers and arrive at a decision to ban the importation of asbestos roofing sheets into the country by the year 2018.
The President further said that he will take this decision taking into the consideration of the health and the good hygiene of the people in the country.
He made these observations delivering the keynote address at the “Sri Lanka Ceramics and Glass Symposium 2015” held in Colombo, yesterday (12). This year’s theme of the Symposium is the ‘Powering Growth Through Collaboration’.
President Sirisena recalled that even though, when he was acting as the Minister of Health he had been presented several proposals to ban the importation of asbestos roofing sheets into the country, he was unable to implement those proposals because of the protection provided by high-ranking officials of the then Government
He emphasized that the present Government will not encourage the people who import things into the country that can be produced in our own country, adding that the Government will take every possible step to strengthen the local industries through a clear national policy.
When the Government increases taxes on imported goods that can be produced in our own country, it will discourage and limit importation of those goods on one hand and strengthen the local industries on the other. Under these circumstances, the local producers should fulfill their obligations by supplying high quality products to the consumers, the President said.
Deputy Minister of Policy Planning & Economic Development, Dr Harsha De Silva,Chairman of the Sri Lanka Export Development Board Bandula Egodage and President of the Sri Lanka Ceramics & Glass Council (SLACGC) Mahendra Jayasekera also spoke at the Symposium.