Ports and Shipping Minister Mahinda Samarasinghe yesterday said that there was a clause in the Sri Lanka-Singapore Free Trade Agreement (SLSFTA) permitting a period of one year to make amendments to the FTA.
“Minister Malik Samarawickrama informed me that there were provisions in the SLSFTA giving a one-year period from the time it was inked to make any amendments,” Minister Samarasinghe.
The Minister made these remarks while addressing a media briefing yesterday at the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) headquarters on Darley Road.
Minister Samarasinghe then pointed out that if the report of the Expert Committee appointed by President Maithripala Sirisena to review the SLSFTA found any anomalies, they could be rectified immediately.
“The report of the Expert Committee is to be handed over to the President within two months. If there are any issued found in the report, changes can be made to the SLSFTA.”
In addition, the Minister noted that a two-thirds majority approval in Parliament was unnecessary to sign an FTA.
“A 2/3 majority in Parliament is not necessary to sign an FTA. Cabinet approval is adequate,” the Minister said, adding that groups were making false claims against the SLSFTA in attempts to politicise the matter.