Gem and jewellery exporters to be allowed vehicle importation | Daily News

Gem and jewellery exporters to be allowed vehicle importation

The government will allow the import of vehicles for any person in the Sri Lanka gem and jewellery sector who bring in foreign exchange to the value of USD 100,000 said State Minister of Gem and Jewellery related industries and Prison Reforms, Lohan Ratwatte.

This is an encouragement to egg on exporters, he said at the Key Persons Forum organized by Sri Lanka Gem and Jewellery Association (SLGJA) on Wednesday.

The State Minister said that they will allocate around 900 areas of land in new locations for gem mining under strict environmental regulations. He said that there is a mega irrigation project taking place in Kumbukkan Oya and the land which is to come under water after the project would be given out for mining of gems. “We hope to start allocating around 300 acres of land from next week.”

The Minister also said that new technology would be used to track a gemstone from the time it leaves the quarry until it reaches a buyer.

Thilak Weerasinghe, Chairman NGJA, said that this simple and practical view point was not adopted before the land for Moragahakanda Irrigation project went under water.

He also said that they have introduced a ‘one stop shop’ to provide speedy approvals for issues relating to gem mining permits under three weeks.

“The gem tower will also see an addition of a mega hotel and a convention centre in the future.” He said several other initiatives including tax concessions were provided to the industry to take it to a USD 1 billion forex earner soon and a USD 5 billion target by 2025.

Tourism is an important player for the industry and the estimated foreign exchange earnings through tourism are in the range of USD 200 to 250 million Refai said.

Chairman SLGJA, Ahsan Refai said several new initiatives by the Ministry including the gem tower in Ratnapura will help promote the industry to the world in better conditions.

“We would like to work with the SLTDA and request the Ministry of Tourism to establish a task force consisting of the NGJA, SLTDA and the private sector to promote and oversee this cooperation.