Minister of Trade Bandula Gunawardena says the Opposition is engaged in a smear campaign against the present administration, by publishing false news that the government has halted imports of 623 products deemed non-essential.
Minister Gunawardena pointed out that the government’s decision concerning the list of items does not mean imports of such goods will be halted or limited adding that taxes or prices of the goods will remain at the current level.
Minister Bandula Gunawardena explained that imports of the listed commodities have not been restricted as claimed by certain platforms.
He added that Sri Lankan Banks have been directed to impose a 100% cash margin deposit requirement against the importation of 623 selected goods of non-essential nature made under Letters of Credit.
The Trade Minister explained that a part payment will be held by the bank when importing essential food items under a Letter of Credit, where the balance payment will be deposited after receiving documents relating to the shipment.
However, the Minister added that the only clause subject to change concerning non-essentials is the fact that the entire payment for the shipment will be held with the bank.
The Minister says this decision was taken to protect the value of the Sri Lankan Rupee.