Minister Rishad Bathiudeen (centre) felicitated by Managing Director/CEO of Piramal Glass Ceylon PLC and President of Sri Lanka Ceramic and Glass Council (SLCGC) Sanjay Tiwari (right) and Chairman/Managing Director Midaya Ceramics Co. Ltd and a former past Chairman of SLCGC Dayasiri Warnakulasooriya (left)
Roof tiles made out of red clay is now in high demand due to the asbestos ban that is set to come into effect next year, according to the country’s Industry and Commerce Ministry. “Our clay is of high quality and is in demand for roof tile making due to the asbestos imports ban starting next year,” Industry and Commerce Minister Rishard Bathiudeen told the 14th AGM of Sri Lanka Ceramics and Glass Council held recently in Colombo.
“We also assisted SLS certification programme to create a good image of local red clay industry. With the support of National Engineering Research and Development (NERD) Centre we set up Sri Lanka’s first roof tile drying centre in Dankotuwa. We sent 30 Lankan red clay industrialists for technological training to Belgium and China,” he added.
In September 2016, on a proposal by President Maithripala Sirisena, Sri Lanka announced it was banning the importation of asbestos from 2018.
According to Bathiudeen this has spurred a new wave of red-clay roof tile production in the country, a part of which is now successfully exported to UK as well.
Sri Lanka’s ceramic and glass exports fell to US $ 50 million in 2016 from US $ 61 million a year ago, though many believe the plunge was temporary since it was the first time a decline was recorded for many years.
The ceramic and glass industries employ a workforce of around 55000.
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