Ban on ethanol imports to continue | Daily News

Ban on ethanol imports to continue

Plantation Industries and Export Agriculture Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana on Thursday confirmed that the Government has decided not to lift the ban imposed on importing ethanol to the country.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa decided to impose the ban on the importation of ethanol with the intention of making the state-owned Sevanagala and Pelwatte sugar factories of Lanka Sugar Ltd profitable institutions.
Accordingly, these two factories have commenced the production of ethanol which is a by-product of the sugar manufacturing process. The two factories have succeeded in meeting the total ethanol demand of the country.
"Apart from the imposition of the ban, measures have also been taken to impose a fixed price for locally produced ethanol. As a result of that Sevanagala and Pelwatte factories which remained loss making institutions for a long period are now receiving a good income," said the Minister.
Speaking at the weekly Cabinet media briefing, Dr.Pathirana further said that around 5000 workers currently work at these two factories and 50,000 others including sugar cane farmers also indirectly depend on these two factories.
The Minister is confident in making Sevanagala and Pelwatte factories profitable institutions within the next few years.
"The Government will be able to take all the measures to uplift the living standards of sugar-cane farmers and also to ensure the job security of the workers of two factories within a year.”  
The Minister also refuted the allegations levelled by various groups claiming that the ethanol produced at these factories do not meet the required quality standards.    
He further stated that a large stock of ethanol had been imported by certain individuals regardless of the ban and those stocks are currently stored at the port under the custody of the Department of Customs.

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