With local manufacturers assuring 80% self-sufficiency in ceramic manufacturing the government will continue its policy of import restriction and import substitution, Industries Minister Wimal Weerasinghe said recently.
“Not only in tile and ceramics, but 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, which is to be built at a cost of Rs four billion.
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 1 April 2020.
Although on 2 February this year Government issued a gazette notification relaxing the import restrictions on selected tiles and ceramic products only on a minimum 180-day credit facility provided by the foreign supplier. However, the Import and Export Control Department on 3 February reversed this policy by issuing new operating instructions for Sri Lanka Customs and all commercial banks to suspend the implementation of regulation No.3 and 4 of the Gazette Extraordinary No.2213/8 dated February 02, 2021, in terms of Imports and Exports Control Act No.1 of 1969 read with Regulations No.17 of the Gazette Extraordinary No.2184/21 dated 16,2020.
According to 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 (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), will create history with the laying of the foundation stone of a state-of-the-art ceramic manufacturing plant on 16 December 2021 at Baduraliya.
Located in the PGC Factory Complex situated in a picturesque corner of the Kalutara District, 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.
Poised to become one of Sri Lanka’s largest ultra-modern ceramic manufacturing plants, TPS Ceramic Industries’ Baduraliya Plant is poised to kick start its manufacturing process of three ceramic and sanitary-ware product lines by the end of 2022 and thereafter increase to 12 product lines in the upcoming years. The main objectives of the Baduraliya Plant are to contribute positively to the country’s economy, assist in cushioning the excessive pressure on Sri Lanka’s balance payment and foreign reserves through import substitution and employment generation.
TPS Ceramic Industries’ state-of-the-art plant situated along the Hedigalle Road in Horagoda Estate, Baduraliya was ceremoniously opened under the patronage of Hon. Wimal Weerawansa – Minister of Industries and Members of Parliament from Kalutara District Jayantha Samaraweera and Sanjeewa Edirimanna, in the presence of a host of distinguished invitees.
Puwakaramba Group of Companies (PGC) Founder Chairman Deshamanya Dr. Laksiri Peiris addressing the gathering had this to say:-
“Puwakaramba Agencies which started as a small retail hardware shop on 7 November 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, namely- Puwakaramba Agencies, TPS International, PGC Marketing, Metro Auto Mart, Silkway Cargo, Elegant Homes & PA Manufacturers. We created history in 2016 by establishing the largest warehouse capacity in Sri Lanka and today, 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.”
Puwakaramba Group of Companies’ new factory complex in Baduraliya, declared opened by Dr. Laksiri Peiris on 30 August 2021; kicked off the commencement of the production of 100% locally-manufactured products widely used in the construction field such as Ceiling Grids, PVC Ceiling Panels, G.I. Tubes, C-Purlins & C-Channels. Spread across a 30-acre land, this premises possess ample opportunity for vast expansions and future additions to its product portfolio.
Prior to import restrictions, PGC handled a staggering import capacity of 475 – 500 containers per month, a vehicle fleet of over 85 and a combined warehouse capacity of 356,000 square feet.
“As a subsidiary of Puwakaramba Group of Companies (PGC) – TPS Ceramic Industries will focus tremendously on offering the latest, best quality ceramic and sanitary-wear products for our customers. We will continue to invest in manufacturing, logistics and warehousing in order to give better service to our customers.”
In addition to one of Sri Lanka’s largest warehouse complex related to the construction industry at Horana, PGC also boasts state-of-the-art warehouses in Mount Lavinia, Katubedda, Habarana and Suwarapola (Piliyandala) and in conjunction with its 30th anniversary the Group added two more warehouses to its Regional Warehouse Complex in Habarana.
Dr. Laksiri Peiris thanked all customers and stakeholders who helped in no mean measure to make the ‘Puwakaramba Group’ a household name in Sri Lanka.
One of Sri Lanka’s largest importers, manufacturers and distributors of hardware items – Puwakaramba Group of Companies (PGC) strives to be amongst the top 100 companies in Sri Lanka. PGC’ vision is to be the best business partner of its customers and of its suppliers and the mission is to constantly strive to meet or exceed its customer needs and expectations of price, service, and selection, while establishing a successful relationship with its customers and its suppliers.