Staggering Rs.4,800 million spent on import of Pinus wood

13 December 2023 07:10 am – 13      – 1161

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Colombo, Dec.13 (Daily Mirror) – Sri Lanka, in the last three years, has spent a staggering Rs.4,800 million on the import of Pinus wood, raising concerns as the country possesses ample commercial plantations capable of meeting its requirements for the next 18 years, a top committee reveals.

The Sectoral Oversight Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development, headed by Samagi Jana Balawegaya (SJB) MP Ajith Mannapperuma, in its report presented to Parliament, says it called for a meeting with the officials of the State Timber Corporation to discuss it.

Sri Lanka has Pinus plantations covering over 16,000 hectares. Of them, 1,200 hectares are in the lands managed by the Department of Forest Conservation, 1,764 hectares by the Land Reforms Commission.

The high cost for logging and the shrinkage of Sri Lanka’s construction industry have reduced demand for Sri Lanka’s Pinus wood.

Mr. Mannapperuma told Daily Mirror that his committee recommended the lowering of logging cost from Rs. 11.125 to Rs. 8,500 to create a competitive market for local Pinus food. He said the profit margin of State Timber Corporation was asked to be reduced by 25 percent.

Also, he said the committee asked for export of Pinus not as logs but as wood.

“When making wood, a lot of income generation opportunities are created in terms of transportation and milling,” he said.