The government will ease the import ban on some goods that have been temporarily suspended due to the prevailing economic crisis, Finance State Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said.
A gazette notification was issued on August 23, 2022 suspending importation of number of non-essential items.
The minister said that import restrictions were imposed on the relevant goods on the basis that they can be produced locally or are not essential.
“Our foreign reserves are at a very low level. We need money to import essential items such as gas, oil and medicine. So we wanted to create a priority list,” he said
He said this during an observation tour at the Import and Export Control Department that the government had taken steps to suspend 1,465 items in the gazette notification. However, taking into consideration the requests of various parties including Chambers of Commerce, the import restrictions of 708 items were removed.
He said further relaxation of import restrictions will be done in the future. He pointed out that the government’s expectation is to relax the import restrictions so as to be able to import the raw materials needed for local industries as well as protect the foreign reserves.