The gazette notification issued in 2013 allowing garbage importation will be amended but not abolished, Deputy Minister of International Trade Nalin Bandara told Parliament yesterday.
“There are no issues in the gazette. However, it doesn’t mention about importing used mattresses. We hope to bring in new regulations to the gazette," he said to counter the challenge made by MP Bandula Gunawardane that scraping the gazette was detrimental.
MP Gunawardane said local and foreign investors in free trade zones had been perturbed after the government started criticising the gazette facilitating them.
“The gazette issued in 2013 has not allowed garbage importation which is illegal as Sri Lanka had signed the Basel Convention. A gazette has also been issued banning garbage importation during the previous regime when President Maithripala Sirisena functioned as Environment Minister. It is the Singapore Free Trade Agreement that legitimised garbage importation,” he said.
Meanwhile, Deputy Minister Bandara said the company responsible was instructed to inform them within a week about action to be taken and instructed them to take steps to re-export the containers within three weeks. (Ajith Siriwardana and Yohan Perera)