Minister of Education Susil Premajayantha says USD 65 million is required in order to import the quota of paper and printing material for next year.
The Minister speaking to media in Kandy said Sri Lanka imports paper and doesn’t manufacture paper locally.
He noted that manufacturing took place previously at factories in Embilipitiya, and Valaichchenai.
Minister Premajayantha said he spoke to printers and the State Printing Corporation and discussed the requirements for next year adding that the resources required for this year suffice.
The Minister noted that USD 65 million is required to source textbooks, exercise books, exam papers, and other necessities, adding that the Ministry requires paper, printing material, and ink.
The Education Minister said the estimations have been handed over to the Treasury, the Ministry of Trade, and the Indian High Commission in Sri Lanka.
The Minister said the Ministry will receive the USD 65 million under the USD 1 billion Indian loan facility while the necessities will be imported from firms in Tamil Nadu, adding that previously too the paper material was imported from Tamil Nadu.
On a separate note Minister Susil Premajayantha said Minister of Energy Kanchana Wijesekera and Minister of Transport Bandula Gunawardana yesterday agreed to provide fuel for school buses and vans through depots operated by the Sri Lanka Transport Board.
The Minister said he spoke to the Chairman of the All Ceylon School Children Transport Association over the phone and scheduled a meeting on Friday at 9am.
The Minister said the difficulties faced by van drivers owing to the fuel crisis were discussed adding that only certain SLTB depots provide fuel to school buses and vans.
Minister Premajayantha said he raised the matter at yesterday’s Cabinet of Ministers meeting, to which the Ministers consented to allow school van and bus operators to obtain fuel at SLTB depots.
He noted that SLTB depots will be issued relevant instructions in this regard.