Feb 12, 2017

Opportunity to regain GSP + likely to be lost! Featured

Sri Lanka is likely to lose the opportunity to regain the GSP plus export concession to countries in the European Union.

In order to receive the concession, Sri Lanka should implement 27 international conventions on democracy and human rights, which the country has already ratified.

An action plan in that regard was formulated recently, but the president and certain ministers objected, requiring changes to certain clauses in the plan.

In the context of this situation, the EU has asked that at least 11 conventions be implemented, but those too, have been opposed by the ministers.

One of the requirements is the removal of legal provisions that allow gender-based discrimination.

The EU has informed the foreign ministry to adopt the action plan and inform about same, but the president and certain ministers have objected, on the basis that it would permit homosexuality.

As a result, getting the cabinet approval for the action plan has become difficult.

Failure to regain GSP plus will further aggravate Sri Lanka’s economic situation.

The interest the country has to pay for the borrowings alone next year is Rs. 780 billion, but state revenue does not exceed Rs.732 million, and without this export concession, the country is likely to face a severe economic crisis next year.