The government of Sri Lanka has taken steps to implement several short term measures to arrest the rising cost of living in the country ahead of the festive season.
The disruption of cultivation in several seasons, due to the adverse climatic condition that prevailed has resulted in a considerable decline of food production in the country and has caused the escalation of prices of food items.
Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has pointed out to the Cabinet at its weekly meeting on Tuesday that the general public are being severely inconvenienced due to the exorbitant prices of the food items, especially rice, coconut and vegetables varieties.
The Cabinet has discussed the matter at length and with a view to controlling this situation has decided to take several measures expeditiously to supply adequate essential food items to the market:
Accordingly, the government has decided to facilitate any private institution or the Co-operative Wholesale Establishment (CWE) to import rice under the direction and supervision of the General Treasury.
It has decided to import the coconut kernel required for the coconut related industries and coconuts required for domestic consumption, under the supervision of the Ministry of Plantation Industries.
An Officials’ Committee will be appointed to submit proposals expeditiously on the further reliefs that could be provided, in addition to the reliefs already granted by the Government, to the farmers whose cultivation has been disrupted.
Meanwhile, the Consumer Affairs Authority earlier this week gazetted the Maximum Retail Prices for several essential commodities including, dhal, potatoes, coconuts and dry fish.