Emergency measures passed in Parliament | Daily News
Essential food supplies

Emergency measures passed in Parliament

Foods to be made available at controlled prices
No room for machinations of errant traders

The Emergency Regulations on essential food supplies declared by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa last week, were passed in Parliament yesterday.

The Emergency Regulations were passed by a majority of 81 votes with 132 voting in favour and 51 voting against it.

President Rajapaksa enacted the Emergency Regulations for the provision of essential food items in accordance with the powers vested in him under Section 2 of the Public Security Ordinance.

Under these regulations, the authorized officers will be able to take steps to provide essential food items at concessionary rates to the public by purchasing stocks of essential food items including paddy, rice and sugar, at Government guaranteed prices or based on the Customs value on imported goods.

This is aimed at preventing market irregularities that can cause inconvenience to consumers due to concealing of stocks of essential food items including paddy, rice and sugar and to prevent their sale them at higher prices to retail customers. Moreover, this programme will be implemented in such a way that the loans granted to purchase food stocks from the State Banks could also be recovered from the borrowers.

Major General M. D. S. P. Niwunhella has been appointed as the Commissioner General of Essential Services to coordinate the supply of paddy, rice, sugar and other consumer goods that are essential to maintain the day-to-day life of the people. The Commissioner General will ensure that there will be no shortages of food items. The Government has already assured that all locally produced and imported foodstuffs are available in ample quantities and all steps were being taken to end the artificial shortages created by unscrupulous traders.

Accordingly, warehouses that had illegally stocked rice, sugar and other commodities were raided during the last few days and the stocks were released mainly through Sathosa outlets to the public.

 They will also be released to other supermarkets and general stores. The Government has gazetted the controlled prices for rice, sugar and several other essentials.

It will be an offence to sell these items at higher prices and the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) has been empowered to take action against such traders.

Parliament was convened yesterday to debate the Proclamation of the Emergency Regulations issued by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa on August 30.

The Committee on Parliamentary Business which met on September 2 decided that Questions for Oral Answers will be set for a future date as the Proclamation of the Emergency Regulations by the President was scheduled to be taken up yesterday.


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