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Sri Lanka’s rubber production dwindles with no budget support in 2019   

Sri Lanka’s rubber production reported a decline due to lower auction prices and its exports are to be affected as a result of the current political impasse. 

Production of rubber also declined considerably due to lower auction prices, the Central Bank announced pointing out it will further come down due to the present political instability in the country.   

Rubber production has dropped by 3.54 percent to 67.76 million kilograms during the first ten months of this year from 70.24 million kilograms in the same period last year.    

Sri Lankan manufacturers of natural rubber products have made a proposal to the government to allocate more money for rubber cultivation in its budget for 2019 to revive the dwindling production.

2019 budget prepared by the finance ministry on the directions of ousted finance minister Mangala Samaraweera was considering to make necessary financial allocation for this purpose at the time of the president’s action., informed sources said.

2019 budget prepared by the Ministry of Finance, on the directions of ousted Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera, was considering to make the necessary financial allocation for this purpose, informed sources from the Treasury said. 

However, this is unlikely to be materialized due to president Sirisena's arbitrary action to sack the legitimately elected ruling party preventing the presentation of 2019 budget. 

Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna (SLPP) Chairperson Prof. G.L Peiris yesterday acknowledged the need for the allocation of funds for next year, conceding that only the Parliament was vested with the authority to allocate public funds for government entities and reiteretated that this could not be done by the Executive.  

The Sri Lanka Association of Manufacturers and Exporters of Rubber Products (SLAMERP) said rubber industry is the fourth largest export sector in the country with total sales of almost a billion dollars.

Sri Lanka’s rubber product exports stood at USD 855 million In 2017, up by about 11% from the year before.

The government should launch a programme immediately to revive the natural rubber production which had fallen to 83.1 million kilograms in 2017 from 130 million kilograms in 2013, officials said. 

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