The government will render maximum support to modernize and successfully develop the carpentry industry, says Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The prime minister made this comment during a meeting with a group of sawmill owners and politicians held at the Temple Trees last morning (10).
The government wants to develop the carpentry industry in the country, hence, the assistance that is required in this regard will be provided by the government, the prime minister commented.
The government also considers protecting the timber resource in the country as a priority, PM Wickremesinghe said. “The current forest cover in the country amounts to 28 percent and we want to increase this,” he added.
The prime minister, clarifying the recent comment made by President on banning carpentry sheds within five years, stated that the President mentioned only of banning mobile sawmills and chainsaws to protect the forest cover of the country.
“If the uses of mobile sawmills and chainsaws increases, the country’s forest cover can drop even lower than 28 percent,” says the prime minister.
The government, under no circumstances, wants to intervene in a way that interferes the carpentry industry, the prime minister commented.
“As a country, we should move forward with the carpentry industry,” he says. “In 2003, we commenced modernizing the carpentry industry, however, we did not have the opportunity to proceed with that work,” the prime minister added.
The carpentry modernization programme will be re-implemented, he assured.
PM Wickremesinghe noted that modernizing the carpentry industry will encounter financial, technical, and trade-related issues.
Further commenting the prime minister stated that Moratuwa is an area where expertise in carpentry can be used perfectly. “We intend to provide the technology required in modernizing the carpentry industry through the ATI Institute that we established at the University of Moratuwa.” As the State Minister of Finance is also from Moratuwa area, there will not be any issues in proceeding with this work, the prime minister added.
“We intend to amend the Circular issued by the Ministry of Finance concerning the carpentry industry. We have already held discussions with the Secretary to the ministry,” he continued.
Carpentry Industry should be developed as a large industry and the knowledge that Sri Lanka possesses in this regard should not be limited only to our country but should be shared with foreign countries as well, the prime minister emphasized.
He further called on to appoint a committee headed by Minister Eran Wickramaratne to submit a report regarding modernization of the carpentry industry.
The concessionary loans given out by the Enterprise Sri Lanka will also be expanded to the carpentry industry, the prime minister added.