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Sri Lanka blocks payment to China Qingdao Seawin Biotech over fertilizer with bugs


ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka-based Ceylon Fertilizer Company Limited had got a court order to block payment to Qingdao Seawin Biotech over shipment of organic fertilizer which was contaminated with bugs.

“The enjoining order has prevented the People’s Bank from making any payment under a Letter of Credit opened in favour of the Chinese company, Qingdao Seawin Biotech Group Co., Ltd,” a statement from the President’s office said.

Colombo Commerical High Court had issued the order on October 22, against the Qingdao Seawin Biotech, its local agent and the People’s Bank.

Though the Chinese firm was supposed to ship sterile organic fertilizer when it won the tender, in the shipping document it had said there may be micro-organisms.

“The National Plant Quarantine Services had tested the sample sent to them and had confirmed the presence of organisms, including certain types of harmful bacteria,” the statement said.

“The consignment is a partial shipment worth more than a billion rupees that was procured through a tender process initiated by the Ministry of Agriculture.

“The Court was informed that even though the Chinese Company was required to ship sterile organic fertiliser under the tender contract, it had admitted in its shipping advice that the consignment may contain microorganisms.”

Chinese fertilizer contaminated with Erwinia has been hotly debated in Sri Lanka parliament. (Colombo/Oct23/2021)

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Chandana Sesath Jayakody

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