Sri Lanka Unleashes Support for World Class Porcelain, Red Clay and Glass Layers
Colombo Page: New initiatives to boost production of Sri Lanka porcelain, red clay and glass
Sri Lanka has begun boosting its world class porcelain, glass and red-clay industry segments with a host of new initiatives and has also realized that the red-clay sector that is now surging as a result of next year's Asbestos ban, packs considerable promise for the economy.
The Minister noted that the decline of total ceramics and glass exports last year to $ 50 million from 2015's $61 million appears to be temporary since this is the first time a decline is seen after years.
He said to sustain competitiveness it is necessary to keep production costs low and the Ministry is looking into ways to reduce the cost of fuel given to the industry.
In September 2016, on a proposal by President Maithripala Sirisena, Sri Lanka announced it was banning the importation of Asbestos from 2018, spurring a new wave of red-clay roof tile production in the country, a part of which is now successfully exported to UK as well - and the exporters saying they are unable to meet the demand.
Sunday Observer:‘CHRYSOTILE ASBESTOS SHOULD NOT BE BANNED’
Industry experts said the Chrysotile roofing sheets are used in over 150 countries which have banned the use of blue and brown Amphibole roofing tiles found to be hazardous to health.
Prof. Fernando said that the latest scientific evidence published internationally, strongly supports that Chrysotile is less hazardous than Amphibole forms of asbestos which are not imported to Sri Lanka. Therefore, Sri Lanka should not ban the use of Chrysotile asbestos.
India, Thailand, Indonesia lifted the ban on the white tiles following studies that have proved it is not injurious to health. Sri Lanka does not import the blue or brown asbestos. The roofing tile industry which has been in existence for over five decades provides direct employment to around 4,400 workers while around 37,800 are indirectly benefited from the industry.
Industry experts said if the ban on Chrysotile comes into force, a large number of workers will lose their jobs and their dependents will be in dire straits.