(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Fruit drink manufacturers should be encouraged increase their production capacity and buy more produce from the farmers, Basil Rajapaksa, Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival says.
Meeting with large scale fruit drink manufacturers last week, Mr. Rajapaksa said that he was proposing to reduce products tax to encourage the export of their products.
Mr. Rajapaksa also pointed out that it is the responsibility of beverage manufacturers to further reduce the sugar content of fruit drinks.
He said more vegetable and fruit collection centers should be established to acquire the farmers’ produce. Fruit juices and vegetable juices are in great demand in other countries, including Europe. Accordingly, by increasing exports, the living standards of the local farming community can also be improved.
Mr. Rajapaksa said it can be expected to achieve export market targets by exporting fruits and vegetables processed as juices. The government will maintain the incentives for such endeavors at a high level, he said.
It was also emphasized that the measures taken by the Government of Sri Lanka to reduce the amount of sugar consumed have been commended globally.
Mr. Rajapaksa stressed that making tax relief recommendations would not promote the consumption of sugar, adding that manufacturers should be interested in launching fruit drinks to the market in the future under the label ‘no added sugar’.
Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi and State Ministers Sashindra Rajapaksa and Ajith Nivard Cabraal, Treasury Secretary SR Attygalle and several others also joined the discussion.