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Sri Lanka to urgently enact anti-dumping laws

Sri Lanka to urgently enact anti-dumping laws

COLOMBO: Sri Lanka is to urgently enact anti-dumping laws, on which legislators have dawdled for 10 years, as it seeks to pacify business lobbies concerned over government moves to strike free trade deals with China and India.

Government spokesman Mass Media Minister Gayantha Karunathilaka said two bills drafted on anti-dumping and countervailing and on safeguard measures have been approved by the Cabinet of Ministers this week.

The new laws were a joint proposal made by Rishad Bathiudeen, Minister of Industry and Commerce, and Malik Samarawickrama, Minister of Development Strategies and International Trade, he told a news conference. They will be published in the government gazette and presented in the parliament after clearance by the Attorney General.

“The new laws are needed to counter unfair trade practices of some countries as well as protect domestic industries and manufacturers from uncontrolled imports,” Karunathilaka said.

According to the proposal, the two bills were originally submitted to parliament in January 2006 but were delayed as they needed to be amended and discussed at several Consultative Committee meetings.

But fresh bills could not be passed when parliament was dissolved in February 2010. The need to enact the anti-dumping laws had become more acute as the government seeks to enter into free trade deals with India, China and South Korea, according to the proposal.

Several industry sectors had expressed concern over opening up the economy before anti-dumping laws that protect local industry from unfair trade practices were in place, it said.