No move to lift ban on ethanol imports

The Government has decided not to lift the ban imposed on the import of ethanol.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa had imposed the ban during the COVID-19 outbreak in Sri Lanka.

Commenting on the ban, Co- Cabinet Spokesman Minister Dr. Ramesh Pathirana said the State-owned Sevanagala and Palewatta sugar factories have commenced production of locally manufactured ethanol.

The two factories are involved in 100% production of locally manufactured ethanol, which has proved to be sufficient to cover the requirement of the country.

The decision has resulted in turning the two factories, which were earlier deemed as loss making enterprises, into profitable institutions.

Minister Pathirana further said the ban on ethanol imports will enable the two factories to remain profitable over the next few years.

The decision to produce locally manufactured ethanol using the two factories has also helped in providing an income to over 5000 employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, he said.

The Minister further refuted reports of ethanol produced at the State-owned Sevanagala and Palewatta sugar factories being of substandard quality, assuring it meets the necessary standards.

He further added that a large stock of ethanol that had been imported by certain individuals disregarding the ban, now remains stored at ports under the custody of the Department of Customs. (Colombo Gazette)