Maintain sufficient stocks of essential foods – President

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President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed the relevant officials to take measures to maintain adequate stocks of all essential food items in order to ensure that there is no shortage of goods. The President pointed out that this could prevent the organised efforts of some businessmen to increase prices by pretending to have a shortage of goods.

The President made these remarks at a discussion held at the President’s House in Colombo on 2 June, on finding expeditious solutions to the challenges related to trade, commerce and food security. “A portion of the agricultural produce distributed to the wholesale market should be made available directly to the rural market. This would reduce the cost of transportation and enable rural consumers to purchase goods at lower prices as well as an opportunity for farmers to obtain higher prices,” he said.

President Rajapaksa instructed the Consumer Affairs Authority to take legal action against those who take advantage of the prevailing situation and trade at unfair prices. There was a lengthy discussion on the need to keep Lanka Sathosa and Co-operative outlets islandwide active and to control the prices of essential food items without allowing prices to be set at the discretion of traders.

Minister of Trade, Commerce and Food Security Nalin Fernando, President’s Chief of Staff, Anura Dissanayake, Secretary to the Ministry of Trade S.T. Kodikara and Heads of line agencies belonging to the Ministry were present at the discussion.