The National Economic Council (NEC) paid attention to situations where the retail price is significantly higher than the landed cost of some imported goods. The President expressed concern over apparent excessive profits made by intermediaries and businesses on some goods and services and the need to have a systemic system for strengthening consumer protection.
This was discussed broadly at the National Economic Council meeting held at the President’s Secretariat on July 10. President Maithripala Sirisena presided over the meeting. The NEC also deliberated on the need for changes to the tax policy on imports and exports in order to discourage non-essential imports and promote exports. As foreign exchange is important to the development of the Sri Lankan economy, the President said that foreign exchange remittances to the country should be free of any taxes and levies. Higher remittances will also help build up foreign exchange reserves.
President Sirisena and Minister Arjuna Ranatunga stressed the importance of completing the construction of the new pipeline to pump oil from the port of Colombo to Kolonnawa refinery. The President ordered quick steps by relevant ministries to solve the issues arisen at Mahawatta area regarding the construction of the new pipeline.
The Electricity Sector Master Plan prepared by the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) for the Ministry of Power and Energy was presented to the President by the Japanese Ambassador Kenichi Suganuma. Chief Representative of JICA Sri Lanka office and a contingent of Japanese delegation participated in this event. On behalf of the Government, the Secretary-General of NEC Prof. Lalith Samarakoon thanked the Japanese Government, the Ambassador Suganuma, and JICA for their support and the master plan which will benefit Sri Lanka in designing its energy policy.
Ministers Mangala Samaraweera, Mahinda Samarasighe, Arjuna Ranatunga, Ranjith Siyamblapitiya, Kabir Hashim, State Minister, Ajith. P. Perera, and Secretary to President Udaya. R. Seneviratne, Secretary-General and Chief Economist of the National Economic Council, Prof. Lalith Samarakoon and other members and officers were present at the meeting.