Plantations Minister Ramesh Pathirana said that the government has taken a far-sighted decision on the export crops cultivation such as tea, rubber and coconut to boost the country’s economy, addressing a media briefing at the Government Information Auditorium .
The minister noted that this decision was taken in order to ensure that those engaged in these export industries over a long period of time weathering numerous challenges are not faced with economic difficulties.
Accordingly, he said that measures have been taken to ensure all operations related to these crops from the plantation stage to transport, export and auction processes will continue without any hindrance even during the curfew.
Further, sugarcane, cashew and other minor export crop farmers have also been exempted from any restrictions and the Plantation Ministry Secretary has issued streamlined covering letters ensuring they have the freedom to engage in their cultivations.
The Defence Ministry Secretary, Health Ministry Secretary, Police, Investment Board, Export Development Board, Port Authority, Customs, Commerce Department and several other ministries had requested the Finance Ministry Secretary to provide the required infrastructure facilities to ensure the smooth operations of the export crops.
However, Minister Pathirana also noted that while those engaged in the plantation industry are allowed to carry on their operations, they should adhere to the guidelines set by the Health Ministry and the Police.
He said that due to the freedom granted to enable the smooth operations of the tea industry, the Ceylon Tea Traders Association for the first time in 137 years, had taken a decision to hold the regular tea auctions in an online process as the e-auction.
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