Written by Staff Writer
14 Jul, 2019 | 9:41 pm
COLOMBO (News 1st):- Information has come to light that the waste containers that were recently discovered by the customs and the waste material piled at the Katunayake free trade zone were both brought down to the country based on a gazette notification issued in 2013. Ninety-four of the 102 containers that were sent to the country from the UK was discovered to be full of garbage after the customs officials took measures to open and inspect five of the containers.
Currently, these waste containers are docked at the Colombo International Container terminal, while we also revealed that waste is also piled at the Katunayake free trade zone.
Against a backdrop where there are no legal provisions to allow the import of foreign waste to our country, the particular companies that had taken measures to bring these consignments had relied on the extraordinary gazette notification issued under the signature of the then Minister of Finance Mahinda Rajapaksa on 11th of July 2013.
As per the gazette notification, permission was granted for these particular companies with a minimum foreign investment of 65% to initiate business activities:-
Speaking on the matter to News 1st, the Secretary of the All Ceylon Customs Services Union, J.A. Gunathilaka said that it was under the same gazette that pepper was brought to the country in a manner which affected the domestic pepper traders. He further said that if this particular gazette notification is not withdrawn that the customs officials will not be able to act against these smugglers.
The Secretary says that this gazette legalized the activities of smugglers who act out of the bounds of the Customs Ordinance, the Monetary Control Act and the Import and Export Control Act. He further urged the Finance Minister to withdraw the Gazette since the people involved in smuggling such goods are not the average people of the country but those who are highly privileged. Gunatilake added that these people should be exposed to the country and then be severely punished.
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