Sri Lanka Plans Economic Boost with New Hydrology Bill
January 06, Colombo (LNW): Scheduled for submission to Parliament on January 9, the upcoming Hydrology Bill promises significant advancements in Sri Lanka’s maritime interests and economic gains. Crafted to establish the Hydrological Service, regulate surveys, and develop nautical maps, the bill’s discussion took center stage during a recent meeting at the Justice Ministry.
Presided over by Justice, Prison Affairs, and Constitutional Reforms Minister Dr. Wijeyadasa Rajapakshe, the session included Navy Commander Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera and Justice Ministry Secretary M.N. Ranasinghe.
Insights emerged, projecting potential annual earnings of approximately $51 million by producing and vending nautical charts to vessels navigating Sri Lankan waters. Notably, a British company, in collaboration with the NARA Institute, presently creates and sells these charts within Sri Lanka’s maritime boundaries, with Sri Lanka receiving only a fraction of the revenue generated.
The proposed bill aims to grant Sri Lanka legal authority to manage its Hydrological Service through the Sri Lanka Navy, establish a National Hydrology Office, and oversee the production of nautical charts, aligning with international economic interests.
Minister Rajapakshe underscored the bill’s significance, emphasizing its potential to substantially increase the country’s revenue stream. Asserting that this legislative move is in the country’s best interests, he affirmed discussions with the Opposition Leader and other Party leaders, asserting that opposition to such bills is unwarranted.
Navy Commander Vice Admiral Priyantha Perera further elucidated the bill’s potential economic advantages, bolstering the Minister’s stance on the need for its swift enactment.