This was confirmed by officials at the Ministry of Power and Energy. This paper came on the back of major cable manufacturers recently discussing the issue of the country’s electricity supplier entertaining foreign bids for cables when the local manufacturers are equipped with adequate capacity for the country‘s requirement.
“A Cabinet paper supporting purchasing cables from local suppliers for the CEB will be presented soon,” a Ministry official told the Business Times. In addition, when paying overseas suppliers, the government will have to pay in dollars, whereas local manufacturers will sell their items in rupees which is more advantageous to the government, a cable industry source pointed out.
There are mainly five local companies in Sri Lanka which are involved in cable manufacturing and trading business – namely ACL Cables, Kelani Cables, Sierra Cables, Ruhunu Cables and Orange Cables. The cable industry was lobbying the government to keep the cables in the negative list (which are products that don’t get tariff reduction) in case of free trade agreements. The source also explained that on a case-by-case basis, the Board of Investments (BOI) has given permission for foreign projects to import cables when those particular cables are not available in Sri Lanka. “The foreign project will inform the BOI which in turn will inform the suppliers who will verify if they have the cables or not and if they do not, the foreigners are given permission by the investment agency to import them,” the source explained further.
The market size in cables is proximately Rs. 25 billion and the volume is 25,000 metric tonnes per annum. The cable industry grew by 10 per cent last year and maintained an annual growth rate of 8 per cent.
“good policy by the government. ACL , SIRA, Kcab will be benefited