The Cabinet is reported to have yesterday approved the memorandum submitted by President Maithripala Sirisena to ban the import of chainsaws.
The President had earlier revealed that this move was to prevent the illegal felling of trees by racketeers.
However, Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka requested the President to exempt government institutions from this ban saying chainsaws were needed by local authorities to prune or chop trees in city and town areas.
“It is difficult to find labourers to cut down trees manually using normal saws,” he said.
There are some 86,000 chainsaws registered in Sri Lanka. (Kelum Bandara)