SOC focuses on restricting the import of Pine wood and the possibility of using and exporting the Pine wood cultivated in Sri Lanka which is sufficient for 18 years

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) –  The Sectoral Oversight Committee on Environment, Natural Resources and Sustainable Development discussed the use and export of commercially cultivated Pine trees in Sri Lanka as timber.

This matter was discussed when the committee met in Parliament on 05.09.2023 under the chairmanship of Hon. Ajith Mannapperuma, Member of Parliament.

It was revealed in the committee that there are about 1200 hectares of Pine trees in the forests under the Forest Conservation Department and about 1764 hectares in the forests under the Land Reform Commission. It was mentioned in the committee that there is Pine timber needed for approximately 18 years in the country.

Chairman of the Committee inquired about importing Pine wood into Sri Lanka at a high cost while there is usable quality pine wood in the country.

The officials pointed out that there is a high demand for the imported wood due to its high quality and the very low amount of tax levied during importation, and that there is a low demand for local Pine wood due to the decrease in quality due to existing knots. Also, the officials pointed out that although the local Pine wood is used only in the construction sector, the imported Pine wood is also used for the production of luxury furniture.

Officials also pointed out that since there is no good attitude among the public regarding local Pine wood, measures should be taken to encourage the use of local Pine wood for other activities including furniture production.

Accordingly, the committee informed the State Timber Corporation to submit an analysis report on the cost of imported Pine wood and the cost of domestic Pine wood production to the committee within two weeks.

In addition to the members of the committee, the leader of the opposition Hon. Sajith Premadasa was present in this meeting.

Also, officials from the Ministry of Wildlife and Forest Recourses Conservation, Forest Conservation Department, State Timber Corporation, Land Reform Commission and Sri Lanka Customs participated.


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