Sevangala Sugar factory will not be handed back to Daya Gamage and Company despite the government's decision to repeal the 'Under performing and Under Utilized Enterprises Bill', a Cabinet minister told Parliament today.
Minister of Irrigation Wijith Wijeyamuni De Soysa came up with this statement in response to a question raised by Chief Opposition Whip Anura Kumara Dissanayake in the House last morning.
"I have discussed this matter with the Finance Minister and he assured me that Sevanagala factory will not be handed back to the private sector even if the government repeals 'Under performing and Under utilized Enterprises Bill' the minister said.
However, the Minister said it is not possible to increase the sugar production and fulfil the aspirations of sugar cane farmers given the present status of Sevanagala factory. There he said the factory badly needs a refurbishment.
Earlier Mr Dissanayake said some 30,000 sugar cane farmers in Hingurana, Pellawatte and Sevanagala are facing a crisis as they are not getting fair price for their produce.
He said farmers are also hit by the closure of Hingurana factory which was privatized in 1993. The MP said the owner of this factory had fled the country after defaulting bank loans. Mr Dissanayake urged the government to increase the price of sugar cane to Rs 8,500 per tonne for the sake of the farmers.
Minister De Soysa assured that the government would do it's utmost for the sugar cane farmers. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)