Cabinet nod has been received to appoint an Inter-institutional coordination committee compromising of industry players engaged in raw rubber manufacturing and rubber-based products as a joint endeavour to develop the sector while solving current issues in the sector.
On Monday, the Cabinet of Ministers approved a proposal presented by the Minister of Plantation, Dr. Ramesh Pathirana to appoint an ‘Inter - institutional coordination committee for the development of rubber cultivation and industries’.
The committee is expected to provide a platform to solve issues in the sector through discussion, and it is also expected to provide policy recommendations to the government.
Department of Government Information stated that the establishment of such a coordinating committee consolidating planters and industrialists would be an encouraging move to develop the sector as a joint endeavour.
With the growing demand for natural rubber-based products such as sanitary devices and PPEs in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, it noted that the country struggles to manufacture raw rubber locally to cater to the demand for rubber-based products.
Sri Lanka was already an importer of raw rubber. However, the natural rubber production showed signs of improvement last year with the pickup in prices for natural rubber in the global market.
Further, the demand for locally made rubber products also rose in the past year due to import restrictions imposed on automotive components such as tyres.
The Export Development Board (EDB) expects US$ 998 million export revenue from rubber and rubber-based products this year.