Good Governance Govt. spent Rs.11,918 mn for tinned fish imports in 2019 - Bandula | Daily News


Good Governance Govt. spent Rs.11,918 mn for tinned fish imports in 2019 - Bandula

A sum of Rs.11,918 million was spent to import tinned fish in 2019 under Good Governance Government when the country is surrounded by the sea.The Mahinda Rajapaksa government spent only Rs.515 million spent for the same purpose, said Trade Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena in Parliament yesterday.

He said further that the with the reduction of custom duties on the import of tinned fish during the UNP led previous government tenure the import and intern the out flow of foreign currency soared.  He added the as a result the tinned fish manufacturing company commenced during the Mahinda Rajapaksa government tenure was made to closure.

He made this observation in response to an Oral Question raised by Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Hesha Withanage.

Minister Dr. Gunawardena said that according to the information of Sri Lanka Customs, 28 companies have imported canned fish which did not fit for human consumption in recent times. He added that the said canned fish stocks had been turned away.

Withanage said that there were claims the Government decided to reduce canned fish prices as stocks which were not suitable for human consumption were circulating in the country.

The Minister said that substandard canned fish stocks came in due to the former Government’s decision to reduce custom duties on canned fish imports. However, the substandard tinned fish consignments were turned away. He added that the government took measures to reduce the price of the tinned fish to cushion the people’s difficulties during the COVID 19 pandemic period and the complaint is baseless. Minister Dr. Gunawardena added however that if there is any complaint of the standard of any product, he would direct it to the Consumer Affairs Authority for quick remedial action.

The Minister told Parliament that the attention of the House should be drawn to the imports of tinned fish despite the country beinng surrounded by the sea. He added that allowing the excess imports of tinned fish for petty gains would have negative repercussions on the country’s economy.