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No forced Sri Lanka plantations land restrictions: Navin

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Minister of Plantation Industries Navin Dissanayake said the government will not force Regional Plantations Companies to reduce land holdings under a restructuring proposal in the budget for 2017.

“We had meeting today – nothing will be forced on anybody,” he told a news conference Wednesday held to announce a series of events planned globally to mark the 150th anniversary of the tea industry in the island in 2017.

“It should be a voluntary process of give and take.”

Dissanayake was responding to a question on the 5,000 acre limit for RPCs proposed in the 2017 budget presented by finance minister Ravi Karunanayake in November.

Karunanayake described the move as an effort to make plantations more efficient.

The RPCs have said the budget proposal to limit landholdings to 5,000 acres would be “potentially ruinous”, unfair for shareholders and erode investor confidence.

The Planters’ Association, which represents RPCs, said in a statement that they had not been consulted on the proposal and demanded talks with the government on its feasibility and adverse impact.
(COLOMBO, Dec 08, 2016)

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