Cost of living will be reduced by adhering to policy decisions - President | Daily News

Cost of living will be reduced by adhering to policy decisions - President

Cabinet Sub Committee meeting on Cost of Living:
Vegetables and coconuts directly to consumers…:

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that appropriate measures will be taken to reduce the Cost of Living by implementing the decisions already made while adhering to a consistent policy without moving backwards.

The President made these remarks at the first Cabinet Sub Committee meeting on Cost of Living at the Presidential Secretariat on August 31.

Prices of several consumer goods, including turmeric, have risen with decisions made to uplift local agricultural industry and the farming community. President Rajapaksa said that if turmeric and other commodities are imported to control or bring prices down, the desired objective will never be achieved.

The President said that even though public faced difficulties for a short time, measures that are taken to strengthen the rural economy and uplift the farming community cannot be reversed.

It was discussed in detail the impact of the rise in prices of several essential commodities on the economy of the urban middleclass.

“To earn a stable and strong income for the rural farmers who make up about 40 per cent of the population, we need to develop confidence that they would get a high price for their produce and assure a stable market for them,” the President said.

The President said that without taking such measures, the rural communities cannot be encouraged to engage in the agricultural sector He pointed out the difficulty of removing the import restrictions.

The President said that to control the foreign exchange parity rates and to get rid of high debt burden on farmers, imports should be restricted. Countries such as India and the United States have imposed import restrictions in the wake of the COVID-19 epidemic, the President said. Programme to offer job opportunities to eradicate poverty will uplift the economy of the underprivileged. Samurdhi beneficiaries will have to contribute by looking after themselves.

Their living condition and nutrition levels could be elevated by home gardening and providing hens and eggs for poultry farming, the President said.

The President highlighted the need for proper procedures to address the issues faced by the middleclass in the suburbs because of the inflation.

Following the COVID 19 pandemic, the Government took steps to deliver the farm produce directly to the consumers at a subsidised price. The President said that continuing this practice will remove the middlemen and their exploitation and protect the farmer and the consumer.

“Promoting the economic condition of the people in remote areas and reducing the cost of living in the suburbs should be addressed simultaneously,” the President said.

To accomplish it and deliver farmer’s produce straight to the consumers, using Government business institutes such as Sathosa, Co-op, Govijana Seva Centers and Security forces was discussed. Revamping the island-wide network of Economic Centers and implementing proper system to purchase farmer’s produce was also taken into the consideration by the Cabinet Sub-committee on Cost of Living.

The President advised the officials to update him once a week on the market status.

Head of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival Basil Rajapaksa said that it was necessary to ascertain the amount of food consumed by an individual in the district and national level and added that the Divisional Secretariats should promote home gardening and poultry farming in their jurisdiction.

The officials said that Cowpea, Undhu, Peanuts, Sesame, Kurakkan and Onions will not have to be imported in the future.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, Ministers Bandula Gunawardane, Ramesh Pathirana, Mahindananda Aluthgamage, State Ministers Arundika Fernando, Shasheendra Rajapaksa, Lasantha Alagiyawanna, Secretary to the President P.B Jayasundera, Secretaries to the respective ministries and other officials were present.