Sep.1 ban on polythene to be reviewed

Published : 9:14 am  August 24, 2017 | No comments so far |  |  (201) reads | 

LATE-CITY-DM-1-4By Sandun A Jayasekera

The Cabinet has decided to appoint a committee to revisit the implementation of the  earlier envisaged September 1 ban on the import, production, sale and use of polythene, Cabinet Spokesman and Minister, Gayantha Karunatilaka said yesterday.

He told the weekly news briefing that however, there was no change in the decision to implement the ban on the use of polythene from September 1.   


The committee to review the ban on polythene and make recommendations before January 2018 comprises the Secretaries of the Ministries of Finance, Industries and Commerce, Environment and the Director General of the Central Environment Authority and a representative of the Industrial Technology Institute.  


The spokesman said they would listen to the concerns expressed by polythene manufactures, people engaged in polythene-related packaging and wholesale merchants, affected by this decision and propose alternatives.   


“However, the government will follow a lenient policy on those found violating the ban until January 2018 when the committee recommendations are expected,” he said.  


The spokesman said the Cabinet had given the green light to a proposal made by President Maithripala Sirisena to regulate the use of SIM cards in mobile phones and registration so as to control various crimes and frauds carried out using mobile phones for the purpose of public security.    It was observed that there were a large number of active SIM cards in operation issued by various mobile phone service providers that were issued without proper documents, including the verification of users’ identity cards. The Telecommunications Regulatory Commission of Sri Lanka (TRCSL) has requested relevant service providers to register SIM cards with a duly filled application form and a photocopy of the National Identity Card of the owner. The spokesman said the government would take measures to improve the quality of three-wheeler and school van services and consider this subject to be a matter under the provincial list.  


The Cabinet memo submitted by Transport and Civil Aviation Minister Nimal Siripala De Silva says according to the Department of Motor Traffic, there are more than 1.1 million three-wheelers and 30,000 school vans as of end 2016.