Import of raw materials still continuing despite ban | Daily News
NCE cautions Govt

Import of raw materials still continuing despite ban

Shiham Marikkar
Shiham Marikkar

The National Chamber of Exporters ( NCE) yesterday cautioned the Government that vital raw materials which were wanted or manufactured of finished goods were still imported, despite the Government banning them.

mport restrictions imposed by the Government which was done with the best of intentions were with the objective to enhance the local production, which will create ripple effects on the economy, Chamber of National Exports Secretary General/ CEO Shiham Marikkar told Daily News Finance.

It has been brought to our notice, according to the gazette notification dated September 15, 2020, some of the items that could be conveniently produced within the country, such as i.e.: HS Code 6208 (Night Gowns ) and HS Code 62.13 (handkerchief ) has been allowed to be imported with an insignificant CESS amount, under credit schemes. Local companies have already commenced production of such goods, and change of import restrictions at the moment could result in a negative impact on the slowly rising local industries, he pointed out.

As a responsible Business Chamber, supporting the local entrepreneurs to reach the international markets, it was a positive move to ban imports and we perceive this action as an initial step towards creating a stronger group of local entrepreneurs, that can compete in the global markets and especially the Agro-based production sector will be strengthened, where the rural farming communities will also be provided an opportunity to not only produce agricultural products, but also contribute to global value chains in the long-run.

Given the fact that Sri Lanka is a member of WTO, where the country has agreed to adhere to certain trading practices in international trade, it is also important to strike a balance between extreme protectionism and liberal economy. However, during an economic recession, which is a difficult period for many commercial entities, such as the Covd-19 pandemic and its effect on the economy, other countries are taking precautions to safeguard their national interests, to protect their industries from external shocks.

“Further given the debt burden the country is to absorb and the decrease in exports under main export sectors of Sri Lankan, with the need for foreign exchange inflows and retention of foreign exchange within the domestic economy is important, hence the NCE is in the view that Import restrictions are to be imposed with a view of long term development of the country,” he said.