Canned fish manufacturers cry foul | Sunday Observer

Canned fish manufacturers cry foul

The Canned Fish Manufacturing Association of Sri Lanka requests the government to provide a level playing field with regard to the import of canned fish, the duty on which has been reduced in recent times.

“We urge the government to re-impose the import duty on canned fish to its original level and protect the local industry. We cannot compete with the large importers following the huge reduction in duty,” the Association’s President Shiran Fernando said.

The government reduced the import duty on canned fish from Rs 102 to Rs 50 in 2015.

The Association expects the development oriented budget to support local industries and being a more viable industry, the canned fish sector will immensely benefit from an increase in import duty. The Canned Fish Manufacturing Association which comprises four companies have purchased fresh Linna fish totalling over 200 metric tons within a period of one month for canned fish production.

“We have helped the fishing community to upgrade their living standard through our efforts. There are 200,000 fishing families who will benefit from the roll-down effect and protecting a local industry will in-turn support economic growth,” he said.

“We strongly believe that our initiative to increase import duty on canned fish will be well aligned with the President Maithripala Sirisena’s vision and declaration of 2018 as the ‘Year of local food production’.

We want the government to view our

request as a progressive initiative for the inclusive development of a rural industry and towards self-sufficiency in canned fish production,” he said.

Sri Lanka had spent Rs. 12 billion on imported canned fish in 2015 and it came down to Rs. 10 billion last year. It has already spent Rs. 6.3 billion up to August this year for the import of 27,396 metric tons of canned fish.