On 17 October, the Divaina quoted Mr. Bandula Gunawardena saying the above statement.
To consider the validity of his statement, we referred to gazette notification 2069/2.
The gazette notification lists the existing tariff rate for 3,539 products, and the new rate under the Singapore FTA for each of these products.
It shows that 3,509 items currently have zero tariffs and so are not subject to any change under the FTA. There are only 30 products (less than 1% of the number claimed) where tariff rate was not zero before but has been reduced to zero under the FTA.
Therefore, the statement that the tariff on close to 4,000 products have been made zero as a result of the FTA is BLATANTLY FALSE.
- Gazette notification 2096/02, Ministry of Labour & Trade Union Relations: http://www.documents.gov.lk/files/egz/2018/5/2069-02_E.pdf