The gem industry has a proud history in our country and has been known as one of the richest and most precious gems bearing country in the world since time immemorial. Similarly, the jewellery industry in Sri Lanka is an industry that is developing gradually while preserving the traditional heritage of the past. The main objectives of establishing a separate ministry for the gem and jewellery industry are; to make Sri Lanka as the world gem trading hub by maximizing the value addition using the value addition methods, safe extraction with modern technology and saving priceless gem resource bestowed on us by nature itself involving with the private sector and to promote the jewellery industry.
Further, by joining hands with the tourism industry, our country will be able to make Sri Lanka the number one gem-buyer destination in the world as well as to build an industry that produces jewellery to meet local and foreign demand with modern technology.
According to the concept of His Excellency the President to achieve these massive goals, One Stop Shop has been set up to simplify the issuance of gem mining permits for the extraction of gems on private lands and to remove obstacles and delays in the legal mining of gems on government lands. The essential environment, required to raise the living standards of hundreds of thousands of industrialists who depend on the gem and jewellery industry, to provide all the relief required to create local entrepreneurs and to make the gem and jewellery industry as a major foreign exchange generating sector in the country, is being prepared.
I offer my heartfelt gratitude to political leaders, the officers as well as the industrialists for their untiring efforts in promoting the mandate of this Ministry.
Lohan Ratwatte (M.P.)
State Minister of Gem and Jewellery Related Industries