President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has stressed the need to put in place a mechanism to help both the producer and the consumer by ensuring that commodities are reasonably priced.
The President pointed out that the objective could be realised by creating conditions for farmers to sell their produce without the involvement of middlemen.
He said so during a discussion with the Committee on Cost of Living at the Presidential Secretariat on Wednesday.
The President and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa focused on strengthening measures to ensure the uninterrupted distribution of essential consumer goods across the country without suffering a shortage.
President Rajapaksa, taking both current living conditions and difficulties associated with COVID-19 pandemic into account, removed the import duties imposed on several essential goods such as dhal, canned fish, onions and sugar on Tuesday (October 13).
The President also instructed officials to take steps to turn uncultivated lands into coconut cultivations. The government has commenced a campaign to plant coconut saplings on 50,000 acres.
Head of the Presidential Task Force for Economic Revival, Basil Rajapaksa noted that a proper strategy was being implemented to produce vegetables, fruits and eggs to meet the consumer demand within the area itself.
The Ministry of Health has studied the daily consumer demand of a household. “We have devised plans to grow vegetables, fruits in home gardens of low income families and fulfill the demand for eggs through domestic poultry farms as a measure to uplift their lives.” Basil Rajapaksa added.
The officials present at the discussion said paddy harvest of the Yala and Maha seasons this year had been favourable compared to the last year. President Rajapaksa highlighted the need for introducing new methods to purchase paddy harvest in the future.
It was also stated during the discussion that a special programme had been planned to transport fruits, vegetables and fertiliser via trains with the assistance of the Sri Lanka Railways.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Ministers Bandula Gunawardane, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, Douglas Devananda, State Ministers Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Arundika Fernando, Head of the Presidential Task Force for Economic Revival Basil Rajapaksa, Secretary to the President Dr. P.B. Jayasundera, Secretaries of the Cabinet and State Ministries and the members of the Committee of the Cost of Living were also present at the discussion.
(Source: The Island)