Johnston requests JVP, opposition to refrain from criticizing Govt.

By Lal Gunesekera

Minister of Cooperatives and Internal Trade Johnston Fernando requested Tilvin Silva and the JVP as well as the Opposition to refrain from criticizing the government for the sake of criticizing. He said that the voters had given the UPFA government a mandate at Saturday’s (23) Local Government elections.

Fernando was speaking at the opening of a Coop City outlet in Maradana on Tuesday (26). He said that the JVP was hiding behind facade of democracy and instigating the public by conducting protests.

He said that the JVP had appointed their henchmen to the Education Employees Thrift and Credit Society Limited (EETCSL) and engaged in illegal financial transactions, but Court issued an injunction and the JVP lost control over it. Now there was an interim board.

Minister Fernando said that Coop City outlets would be opened in every city, and village, and every consumer item will be made available, like at Lanka Sathosa outlets, at much cheaper prices than in the open market. He said that 20 Coop City outlets would be opened by end August and 200 would be opened before the end of the year.

He also said that traders violating the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) will be severely dealt with by the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) which had increased the number of prosecutions to 12,000 last year (2010) from 4,000 the previous year (2009). The target this year is 40,000 prosecutions. He said that he has instructed the CAA to increase their raids and invited consumers to make complaints to the CAA.

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