Govt Secretly Agrees for GSP+ Probe by EU reports news paper!!! -
11-22-2008, 02:09 PM
Sri Lanka has clandestinely agreed for an inquiry by European Commission for a continuation of the GSP+ concession, although the government had publicly rejected such a probe, 'Ravaya' reports.
Pending the completion of the investigation, the EC has agreed to continue the garment industry concession, according to the newspaper.
Colombo has instructed Sri Lanka's ambassador at EU Ravinatha Aryasinghe to assist in the inquiry.
Director General (European Affairs) at the Foreign Ministry, Kshenuka Seneviratne has told 'Ravaya' that the Cabinet had decided on October 15th to comply with an EU probe and to send a delegation to discuss the modalities.
Prior to the budget, the government had promised 150 million dollars to offset any impact on the industry following the expiration of GSP+ at the end of 2008.
However, Budget 2009 makes no mention about such a grant, because of this secret agreement, observers said.
The EC wants Sri Lanka to comply with certain conditions if it is to continue the concession.
According to these conditions announced in Brussels last month, Sri Lankan citizens can complain in writing to the EC on any violation of international civil, human rights or professional rights, until February 2009.
After investigating such complaints, the EC is expected to issue a report in about one year's time, until such time the country will continue to receive GSP+, 'Ravaya' added.