Govt. won’t permit shotage of essential goods


By Cyril Wimalasurendra

KANDY – Public should not have any doubt about a shortage of essential consumer goods or a price hike in any consumer articles during the forthcoming new year season, Co-operative and Internal Trade Minister Johnston Fernando assured in Kandy last Friday 16.

Addressing a meeting to discuss arrangements for the Mahapola Educational and Trade Fair at the premises of St. Anthony’s College, Katugastota from April 07 to 11 the Minister pledged that he would take every step to prevent any scarcity of consumer goods and price increases during the festive season.

There was no shortage of goods nor did prices go up during last festive season, the minister said.

He said that the opposition was disappointed that it could not get the people to streets as prices of consumer goods did not go up as there was no scarcity.

The Minister also said that the price of paddy purchased by the Paddy Marketing Board (PMB) would not be increased although there was a "political demand" to increase of the Purchase price of paddy to Rs. 40 per kilo.

Buying price of paddy at Rs. 28 per kilo was quite reasonable and the buying price of paddy was not raised in order to protect the farmer as well as the consumer of rice, he explained.

The Minister said that the PMB stores throughout the country would be kept ready to purchase paddy from farmers.

There was no food scarcity in any part of the country. Even the people of the North and East were enjoying the opportunity of availability of consumer goods at normal price since the war ended due to efforts of President Mahinda Rajapaksa, Fernando noted.

The Minister said that the number of Mahapola scholarships had been increased to 10,000 this year. At least 40,000 students received Mahapola scholarships countrywide, he added.

Chief Minister Central Province Sarath Ekanayake, Ministry Secretary Sunil Sirisena and Kandy District Secretary Gamini Seneviratne also spoke.

Principal St. Anthony’s College, Katugastota, Fr. Titus Herbert Rodrigo, SP R. M. Ratnayake and several others were present.

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