Sri Lanka imports fish from China for canning, more factories ahead: report

Jan 14, 2013 (LBO) – Sri Lanka is to set up another plant to can fish while existing tax protected factories are importing raw fish from China to prevent extinction of some species, a media report said. Sri Lanka’s The Sunday Times newspaper said a new factory was planned with possible Chinese investment in Galle in addition to existing ones in Galle itself, Peliyagoda, and Mundala in Puttalam.

The newspaper quoted fisheries minister Rajitha Senarathne as saying that newly established canneries in Galle and Puttalam were importing fish from China as the local catch was not sufficient.

Linna and mackerel species are used for canning. Fishermen have been asked to limit their catch of Linna to protect it from extinction, the report said.

Sri Lanka is said to be spending 5.2 billion rupees a year to import canned fish. Canned fish used to be a cheaper source of protein for the poor and construction workers until the state jacked up import duties.

A tax-arbitraging canning industry is emerging under autarkist policies pursued by the state at the expense of higher cost foods for the people.

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