SL to order $ 3,000 worth gems

Ministerial Consultative Committee approves proposal

A gazette notification for ordering gems up to $ 3,000 received the approval of the Ministerial Consultative Committee on Industries at a committee meeting held in Parliament, last week.

It was discussed that these steps have been taken to promote the gem and jewellery industry as tourism has been subjected to restrictions given the prevailing Covid-19 pandemic situation. The gazette notification has also reduced the 0.5% fee, charged by the Gem and Jewellery Authority to 0.25%.

Gazette Notification No. 2165/2 containing regulations made by the Minister of Industries under the National Gem and Jewellery Authority Act No. 50 of 1993 was thus approved by the Committee.

Ministry of Industries Secretary Gen. (Retd.) Daya Rathnayake and officials were present at the committee meeting chaired by Minister of Industries Wimal Weerawansa, with the participation of State Minister of Gem and Jewellery-related Industries Lohan Ratwatte, and State Minister of Batik, Handloom, and Local Apparel Products Dayasiri Jayasekara.

Discussions were also held on the suspension of a gem mining project in the Ratnapura “Veganga” area due to a protest. Accordingly, State Minister of Gem and Jewellery-related Industries Lohan Ratwatte stated that the matter should be taken into discussion at the special development committee meeting emphasising the importance of the need to implement this programme which will bring in a large amount of revenue to the country.

Discussions were held on the possibility of the general public joining the gem mining business by way of establishing a gem licencing system in the Elahera area. The licences will be issued from next January, the State Minister said.

The members of Parliament also drew the attention of the Committee to the issues related to various industrial estates and industries in the island. The Minister instructed the relevant officials to take immediate action to resolve them in co-ordination with the relevant officials or to submit detailed reports to the next committee.

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