Rift in Government over proposal to liberalise shipping sector

A rift has emerged in the Government over the budget proposal to liberalise the shipping sector.

Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe told Parliament today that he was against the proposal and so was the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP).

The Minister said the proposal was included in the budget without discussing the proposal with him as the subject Minister.

Samarasinghe said liberalising the shipping sector without proper conditions in place could harm the local industry.

He said the SLFP has urged Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera to amend the proposal in the budget.

However Deputy Minister of Policy Planning and Economic Development Dr. Harsha de Silva said that the shipping sector needs to be  liberalised to be more competitive.

He said that the Finance Minister, Ports Minister and the sipping agents must meet and discuss the proposal.

Finance Minister Mangala Samarweera, speaking at the AGM of the Sri Lanka Apparel Exporters Association today said that the liberalisation of the shipping and freight forwarding agency sectors will contribute to more competitive freight rates for Sri Lanka’s exporters and will help attract global investment to position Sri Lanka as a logistic hub. (Colombo Gazette)

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