“Complications” arise over granting GSP+ concession to Sri Lanka

“Complications” arise over granting GSP+ concession to Sri Lanka

Written by Keshala Dias

23 Apr, 2017 | 8:17 pm

In what would certainly come as a rude shock – or an awakening for the government of Sri Lanka –  a resolution has been tabled in the EU Parliament against granting the Generalised System of Preferences plus or GSP+ tariff concession to Sri Lanka.

The resolution has been produced by the European United Left – Nordic Green Left – European Parliamentary Group comprising fifty-two members or MEPs.

The European Parliamentary group says that the GSP+ should not be granted to Sri Lanka because the government’s reform efforts, including those that directly relate to the GSP+ criteria, have not been delivered.

The motion says that as per the recent report by the UN Human Rights Council, measures taken by Sri Lanka has been “inadequate to ensure real progress” and the fulfillment of commitments has been “worryingly slow”.

The MEPs resolution points out that there are several issues in the labour laws in the country as well.

It says the process of repealing and replacing the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) has not yet been accomplished and the Sri Lankan government is suspected of not adequately tackling the culture of impunity by rewarding military officials accused of human rights violations with government positions.

If 376 out of 751 MEPs of the EU Parliament vote for the resolution at the forthcoming plenary scheduled from April 26 – 27,  it would result in the denial of the GSP+ concession which would have made Sri Lankan exports to the 28-member European Union (EU) cheaper and contributed to the country’s export growth which is vital at this juncture to boost dwindling external reserves.

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