Sri Lanka tea estate seeks ‘Golden Shareholder’ nod for dairy move

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Watawala Plantations Plc said it is awaiting approval from the government to sub-lease land for a diary venture.

Watawala Dairy Limited, incorporated on December 01, 2015, expects to build a dairy farm on 1,051 acres of land known as Lonach Estate.

"The transfer of assets and liabilities to Watawala Dairy Limited has not been completed pending approval from the Golden Shareholder," the firm said in a stock exchange filing.

Watawala, a privatized plantation, has land on a long-lease, and the government as the ‘Golden Shareholder’ has to approve changes, including diversification and sub-leases.

Watawala has already moved into palm oil.

In Sri Lanka, palm oil is taxed at import as part of moves to boost profits for rent-seeking farmers and on nationalist autarkist philosophy, making food especially for the poor more expensive.

Dairy products are also taxed at high levels. (Colombo/Aug04/2016)

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