Open economy reason for high cost of living – Minister Sirisena

KANDY - Dashing pots and pans on the ground against the rising cost of living by the United national Party (UNP) is ridiculous, as it is the UNP that discouraged local production by introducing the open economy, Agriculture Development and Irrigation Minister Maithripala Sirisena said at a seminar at Gannoruwa on Monday 31, to discuss the release of water for cultivation of paddy in the forthcoming Yala season.

The venue for the Seminar attended by officials and representatives of the farming sector was the Plant Genetic Resource Centre, (PGRC) in Gannoruwa.

The introduction of the market economy system to Sri Lanka by the UNP administration of 1977, discouraged local production, be it food or industry. The country was compelled to depend on imports. This led to the scarcity of essential goods, Ministry Sirisena said.

The very political group responsible for the present situation instead of dashing pots and pans cursing the government must dash them on the heads of UNP stalwarts, the Minister said.

He said that nobody could bring down the price of essential food items, because all items including rice had risen mani-fold.

The alternative is to achieve self-sufficiency by producing local food items, he said.

The Minister denied any plans to privatise water or impose any charges for water.

The government has not taken any decision with regard to privatisation of water resources, he said.

Officials of the Department of Agriculture and Department of Irrigation discussed at length the plans for the distribution of water to farmers during the Yala Season.

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