No mandate to formulate Thai-SL FTA – PNF

Published : 9:10 am  August 24, 2018 | No comments so far |  | 


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By Kalathma Jayawardhane   

The Professionals’ National Front (PNF) yesterday said the Secretary of Development Strategies and International Trade Ministry had no mandate to convene stakeholder consultation meeting on the Economic and Technology Cooperation Agreement and Thailand-Sri Lanka Free Trade Agreement (FTA).   

PNF Secretary Kapila Perera in a letter to the Ministry Secretary said bearing only an administrative position; the secretary had no mandate to call for such a stakeholder consultation meeting.   

“Obtaining a proper mandate to formulate a free trade agreement can only be done as it is spelled out in a National Trade Policy. Unfortunately, relevant authorities have failed to establish a National Trade Policy for Sri Lanka, despite our repeated requests,” he said.   

“The secretary has shouldered the responsibility of compiling a fraudulent New Trade Policy to mislead the entire nation. Having observed the improper procedure, the President has appointed a committee to revisit free trade agreements and National Trade Policy,” he added.   

Meanwhile, the PNF urged the secretary to refrain from engaging in acts which were out of the mandate and added that they would not hesitate to bring charges against the secretary if she would continue without a mandate.