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Sunday September 24th, 2023

Sri Lanka beverage maker recycles 311 tonnes of plastics

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Ceylon Cold Stores, a producer of beverages and ice cream, said it had recycled more than 300 metric tons of plastics in the past year and was looking for alternative packaging.

Ceylon Cold Stores said it had invested 23 million rupees in recycling last year. Plastic bottle collection had increased 10 times to 311 metric tonnes from 39.9 million tonnes.

“Given evolving regulations surrounding single use plastics and interest towards environmentally friendly packaging, continual emphasis will also be placed on exploring alternate forms of packaging,” the company said.

“The group expanded its plastic recycling initiative, in line with its Extended Producer

Responsibility (EPF), a voluntary initiative implemented by the Central Environmental Authority and the Environment Ministry, which requires producers to collect 16 percent of their sales of PET and High-Intensity Polystyrene.”

Sri Lanka is planning to make EPF mandatory under planned changes to the country’s environmental law, Anil Jasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Environment has said.

Also read; Sri Lanka to make producers responsible for plastic containers

CCS has set up four material recovery facilities with a capacity to process 50 million metric tonnes a month. The company had 165 collection bins in the Colombo district.

Elephant House supermarkets were also cutting plastic use.

The firm has also taken initiatives to use compostable bags for top crust bread, fresh meat and fish counters.

Plastic cups, plastic straws have been discontinued from selling while introducing paper straws at juice counters.

The firm also said, it extends the concept of ‘Bring your own bag’ for bakery products to decrease the use of plastic packaging.

Outlets were giving rebates for customers who brought their own bags. The rebate was increased to 6 rupees from 4 rupees, the firm said.

The CCS expects to increase the recycling of plastics to 20 percent of sales by 2025 and open 8 new Material Recovery facilities along with 200 garbage collection bins. (Colombo/ June 04/2023)

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Sri Lanka India industrial zone around Trinco, maritime links mooted

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Ports Minister Nimal Siripala de Silva had highlighted the desire of both the Governments to work closely to develop the industrial zone at Trincomalee, after accepting an invitation to participate in a maritime summit.

The Global Maritime India Summit (GMIS) will be held in India from October 17-19, 2023 at Mumbai where Sri Lanka has been invited at a partner country.

At a curtain raiser event on September 22, India’s High Commissioner in Colombo, Gopal Baglay had said both countries were working on enhancing sea connectivity according to a vision document launched during a recent visit of the President of Sri Lanka to India.

Minister de Silva will lead a delegation from Sri Lanka to the summit.

Secretary to the Ministry of Ports, Shipping and Waterways, Government of India, T K Ramachandran said the Global Maritime India Summit aims strengthen the Indian maritime economy by promoting global and regional partnerships and facilitating investments.

The event will give an opportunity to the Government of Sri Lanka to attracting greater investment from India in development of its maritime infrastructure, Ramachandran said.

It will also facilitate greater business to business interactions. (Colombo/Sept24/2023)

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Sri Lanka brings back import para tariff on milk

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has brought back an import para tariff called the Ports and Airports Levy, to several grades of milk powder.

Milk powder has been removed from a list of PAL exemptions, making them liable for a 10 percent tax.

The PAL para tariffs are also a contentious issue in terms of export competitiveness, and the government has previously given undertakings that they will be eliminated.

Trade freedoms of the poor figure in an IMF/World bank reform program with the governments.

Milk is a protein rich food, in a country where children of poor families are facing stunting and malnutrition.

Economic nationalism is seen at high levels in food, with several businessmen are pushing for trade protection, amid an overall autarkist (self-sufficiency) ideology, going directly against policies followed in East Asia, which the same as hold up as examples.

Sri Lanka keeps dairy product prices up ostensibly to bring profits to a domestic dairy company and farmers.

Sri Lanka also keeps maize prices up, ostensibly to give profits to farmers and collectors. (Colombo/Sept22/2023)

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Sri Lanka govt warns liquor manufacturers: pay defaulted tax or lose licence

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka government which is struggling to raise the state revenue despite   higher taxes, has warned liquor manufacturers to pay defaulted taxes or lose their licence.

The government is now getting tough with past tax defaulters amid concerns over falling short of this year’s revenue target agreed with the International Monetary Fun (IMF).

“Liquor manufacturing firms owe us 660 crore rupees (6.6 billion rupees),” Siyambalapitiya told  reporters on Thursday (21).

“Most of this or around a third is the only excise tax amount to be paid. The rest is penalty. If a liquor manufacturer does not pay on time, we impose a penalty of 3 percent per month This means 36 percent (penalty) per annum,” he said.

“We have given them deadline to repay the basic excise taxes. If they don’t pay, we will cancel their licence.”

President Ranil Wickremesinghe’s government committed an ambitious revenue target among many other reforms to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in return to a $3 billion loan package.

However, the revenue could face a short fall of 100 billion rupees, State Finance Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya has said.

A new Central Bank Act also has legally prevented the government of printing money at its discretion as  in the past.  (Colombo/September 24/2023)

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