TPS Ceramic Industries (Pvt.) Ltd. the recent-most entity to join Sri Lanka’s largest ultra-modern sanitary-ware and ceramic trading company and distributor, Puwakaramba Group of Companies (PGC), created history with the laying of the foundation stone of a state-of-the-art ceramic manufacturing plant on December 16 at Baduraliya at a cost of Rs four billion.
“Not only in tile and ceramics, but a lot of businesses had to face hardships with the introduction of import restrictions due to the devaluation of the rupee and dwindling of foreign reserves. As such the government will not turn back on its policy of import substitution and encouraging local manufacturing,” Industries Minister Wimal Weerawansa said at the laying of foundation stone of a ceramic manufacturing plant in Baduraliya.
With local manufacturers assuring 80% self-sufficiency in ceramic manufacturing the government will continue its policy of import restriction and import substitution, Industries Minister Weerasinghe said. Due to the fall out of the Covid-19 global pandemic, in 2020 March Government introduced import restrictions on non-essential goods as foreign reserves showed signs dwindling, which was extended to include all import items except pharmaceuticals and fuel on April 1, 2020.
The Government has issued new operating instructions for Sri Lanka Customs and all commercial banks to suspend the implementation of the previous day’s regulations effectively halting all ceramic imports which is an encouragement for local manufacturing. According to the Central Bank of Sri Lanka, ceramics exports in 2019 which amounted to USS 30 million plummeted to US$ 24 million in 2020.
TPS Ceramic Industries aims to become a formidable player and join other local players in order to nearly double the domestic ceramic production from its current 40% to 75%-80% of the total consumption needed for Sri Lanka, in the near future, in line with the vision of the government to encourage import substitution.
The ambitious project is projected to cost Rs four billion and is slated to create over 400 direct job opportunities.
Puwakaramba Group of Companies (PGC) Founder Chairman Dr. Laksiri Peiris addressing the gathering said,“Puwakaramba Agencies which started as a small retail hardware shop on November 7, 1985 with just two employees, has now grown to over 500 employees and has a dealer network of over 5,012 today.
The Group has given birth to numerous subsidiaries and created history in 2016 by establishing the largest warehouse capacity in Sri Lanka.
Yet again, we are laying the foundation for one of the largest manufacturing operations in Sri Lanka as far as the construction industry is concerned.”