COLOMBO (NewsRadio); State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya says six containers with 153,375 kg milk powder were held by Sri Lanka Customs after the importer violated the import and export control regulations.
Speaking in Parliament this morning, State Minister Siyambalapitiya noted that the delay to release the said containers will in no way result in a shortage in the market.
He said no import restrictions have been imposed on milk powder and therefore the public should not need to have undue fears.
The State Minister said the stock of full cream milk power was imported to Sri Lanka from New Zealand via Malaysia.
State Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said the stock of milk powder was imported under the open account system since it does not require permission of the import-export controller general.
He said however after languishing for 15 days, the importer had filed papers to release the stock based on a provision of the Ministry of Industries.
The State Minister of Finance noted they have identified the importer has brought the stock into the country as raw material to produce chocolate and readymade milk tea.
He said the importer cannot bring down raw materials without prior permission from the import-export controller general.
State Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said if the importer is willing to comply with regulations and abide by the directives issued by authorities; Sri Lanka Customs will release the stock.
He said even during the investigation period, importer can get clearance to the stock by placing a bond.
State Minister of Finance Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said the matter has been conveyed to the relevant party and the issue has arisen due to the discrepancy on the part of the importer.
The Finance State Minister reiterated that due to the detention of six containers, there cannot be a shortage in the market.