Swift measures to reduce COL burden – PM | Daily News

Swift measures to reduce COL burden – PM

Eight essential food items including rice, dhal, sprats, potatoes and onions will be provided to the people under a relief package to relieve the cost of living burden, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

“The relief package will be provided through out this period until the forthcoming Sinhala and Tamil New Year season,” the Prime Minister said.

“This decision was taken by the Cabinet Sub Committee on the Cost of Living chaired by President Maithripala Sirisena,” the Prime Minister said.

The Sathosa shops and private traders will be entrusted with the task of issuing these items under the relief package, in addition to the major Food Cities and marketing firms in the cities.

The Prime Minister said “The government’s objective is to create a society where everyone will be able to lead a happy and contented life. This will be done by ensuring equal educational, health and housing facilities for all.

“We have also started a programme to supply essential food items at an affordable price for all. Although it is a difficult endeavour the government has realised it as its bounden duty towards the people,” the Premier said.

The Prime Minister expressed these views at a meeting which followed the opening of a new bus stand and market complex at Nivitigala town on December 16.

The Prime Minister said the benefits of the governments programme to supply essential food items as a relief package would accrue to the people in the outstations such as Nivitigala too.

“Another problem faced by the government was the scarcity of coconuts. It would take time until 2019 or 2020 for the local coconut production to reach the normal levels. The government was now having discussions on the suitable steps that should be taken to avert any future coconut scarcity,” the Prime Minister said.

“It also hoped to introduce a better mechanism to provide all essential items to the people at a reasonable price,” the Premier said.

The Prime Minister said food distribution in the outstations was handled mainly through Sathosa shops. Since there were only 3000 Sathosa shops and outlets in the country, it has been decided to link the private sector too with the project to offer a relief pack of essential food items. As such, Private Sector firms such as Cargills, Keells, Laugfs and Richard Pieris and Company had joined the program.

Since these food outlets served only one third of the country’s population, they had arranged to include dedicated economic centres and private shops too in the programme.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said the inclement weather and climatic conditions encountered in the recent past had contributed to the escalation of price of goods.

The Prime Minister said his friend late Minister Gamini Athukorale had a great ambition to develop the Nivitigala area.

“This was a very backward area in development when they first visited it in 1977. Kahawatte and the surrounding areas were developed during his stewardship as MP for the area. Although late Mr Athukorale promised to launch development projects in Nivitigala in the 2000-2001 period, he died before those projects came to fruition. The Nivitigala Town Development Plan would be launched under the leadership of Justice and Foreign Employment Minister Mrs Thalatha Athukorale shortly,” the Prime Minister said.

“The government also had a plan to develop areas coming under the Sinharaja Forest Conservation Programme. As much as they had to protect the Sinharaja forest which is a World Heritage Site they had a responsibility to develop its adjoining villages as weel, the Premeir added.

“Since the new Sathipola market complex was utilised only for one day per week, the Nivitigala Traders Association should devise some measure to use it profitably throughout the week. They could devise this plan in consultation with Minister Mrs Thalatha Athukorale,” the Prime Minister said. 


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The architect of the hignly increased cost of living now throws crumbs to the suffering masses on the eve of a long delayed election in the mistaken belief that people are gullible to swallow such bait especially as they know that the bread of the worker has been robbed to feed his rich friends.


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