Massive industrial drive in country – Wimal | Daily News

Massive industrial drive in country – Wimal

Most Government institutions under the Industries Ministry including the paper company increased production and income in the face of the COVID 19 pandemic, said Industries Minister Wimal Weerawansa in Parliament yesterday.

He also said that four industrial zones are to be set up in Negombo, Colombo, Trincomalee for local industrialists. A special cloth textile manufacturing zone would be set up in Eravur creating 5000 job opportunities.

He made these observations joining the Committee Stage Debate on the financial heads of Industries Ministry, Trade Ministry, Batik, Handloom & Local Apparel Industries State Ministry, Gem and Jewellery and related industries State Ministry, Cane, Brass, Clay, Furniture and Rural Industry Promotion State Ministry, Cooperatives, Sales Promotion and Consumer Protection under the Budget proposals for financial year 2021 presented to the Parliament by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on November 17.

In response to Kumara Welgama, Minister Weerawansa said that the import of vehicle spare parts was limited to encourage the vehicle assembly investors in the country. In response to TNA MP Sritharan Minister said that already Cabinet Approval has been taken to recommence the Kurunchativue and Elephant Pass salterns. He added that if there are Tamil expatriates overseas who wish to invest in Sri Lanka, as MP Sritharan said, they are welcome to invest in any part of the country. In response to MP Buddhika Pathirana, the Minister said that the National Policy on Industries would be finalised next year. He added that an industrial zone would be set at Paranthan.

He also said that the Lanka Minerals Sands had recorded the highest income in history this year. He added that it is an increase of 53 percent over 2019. He added that the Paranthan Chemicals too has obtained a 7 percent increase this year amidst the COVID 19 pandemic as well. He added that the Elephant Pass south saltern and Mannar would produce table salt soon. He also said that plans are afoot to do value addition at the Kahatagaha Graphite Eppawala Rock Phosphate too has increased its sales by 11 percent this year.

The National Paper Ltd at Valachchenai was to be closed. However, we repaired Valachchenai one machine and commenced operations in July this year and produced paper amounting 95.27 MT and sold 73.6 MT and earned Rs 7 million. The Embilipitiya Paper Company is to commence work soon. BCC Lanka Ltd too increased its income by 18 percent and profits increased by 117 percent. Lanka Porcelain too increased its income by 114 percent. Oddusuddan Tiles Factory is to be reopened. Already interviews have been held.

He said that the Government’s responsibility is to create an industrial culture. We have taken steps to do so amidst the challenge levelled by the COVID 19 pandemic.

He said that with the Valachchenai factory development, it is expected to save US$ 70 to 80 million that is spent to import paper including newsprint. He also said that the government’s involvement in cement production was lost with the privatization of the Kankesanthurai cement factory by the United National Party Government. We would recommence its production.