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Sri Lanka scraps licences for transport of sand, clay and gravel

Large development projects such as the Port City require transport of large volumes of minerals.

ECONOMYNEXT- Sri Lanka has removed the requirement of a permit for transporting sand, clay and gravel, the cabinet office said.

Several ministers had informed at the cabinet meeting held this week that the construction industry and artisan industries were facing difficulties in sourcing these raw materials due to irregularities in obtaining the permits.

The cabinet had decided to remove the licensing process.

The Geological Survey and Mines Bureau (GSMB) issues mineral transport licenses. It also issues licenses for exploring minerals, mining minerals for artisanal or industrial purposes, and for exports.

According to GSMB annual reports, illegal sand mining in rivers, rock mining quarries and soil mining is prevalent, and the agency gets blamed for the resulting environmental and social damage, although it requires inter-agency cooperation to reduce illegal mining and transport.

Sri Lanka’s largest construction raw material requirements are for the Colombo Port City projects, expressways, the southern railway line, the military headquarters and government offices in Battaramulla, irrigation and hydro projects, and residential apartments, according to GSMB.

The new government has emphasized on developing the construction industry, giving it tax cuts. (Colombo/Dec05/2019)

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