Sri Lanka is all set to ban the import of textile fabrics in a bid to protect domestic industry, the state minister for batik, handloom textiles and local apparel productions, Dayasiri Jayasekara, has announced. The relevant gazette notification has been approved by Parliament, and will be notified soon, the minister said last week.
Jayasekara told a news conference that a number of factors had contributed to the decline in the production of local handloom textiles, and that the local handicrafts industry had collapsed in the wake of imports of large quantities of textile products such as saris, pillows and bedding. The minister also regretted that the local handicrafts industry could not be developed as a result. The government is taking steps to revive the batik industry, he added.
Among the plans to revive the local handicrafts industry is a proposal to provide incentives of SLR 5,000 to individuals. Local manufacturers will also be given the opportunity to supply fabrics for school and security uniforms. “We now have a great opportunity to take handloom textile and batik products manufactured in Sri Lanka to a great height,” the minister said.
Sri Lanka’s batik, handloom and apparel industry has set an export target of $6 billion for 2021. Exports in 2020 had dropped from $5.6 billion in 2019 to $4.4 billion for the year.