The Ministry of Environment on Saturday said that traditional sawmills would not be banned under the proposed amendments and that only mobile sawmills would be banned with effect from December 31, 2022.
The Ministry which is under President Maithripala Sirisena had made this clarification following the public outcry over his statement that sawmills would be banned in five years.
Speaking at an event held to celebrate the World Environment Day, on Thursday the President stated that he would ban sawmills and import of chain saws.
“I will ban carpentry sheds. I will also ban the import of machinery used for cutting trees. I will give sawmill owners five years to find another job,” he said.
He stated that he gave an immediate order at the progress review meeting of the Central Environmental Authority for a Cabinet Paper to halt the import of machinery used for
According to the President, the machinery used for cutting trees was strictly prohibited in countries where strict rules on environmental protection were in place.
“Sawmills in Sri Lanka are established by the rich. They use chainsaws. Those who are poor run carpentry sheds,” said the President.
However, the Environment Ministry now says only the mobile sawmills would
The President is to amend the 1896/26 Timber Mill Registration Special Gazette dated 2014.12.03, the Ministry said in a statement.
Currently, there are around 300 mobile sawmills registered in the country.