Ban on ten varieties of food lifted –Range Bandara

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UNP General Secretary Palitha Range Bandara said, the ban on imports of ten varieties of food has been lifted and that steps are being taken to import them soon.

Bandara said Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has been in discussions with World Food Programme (WFP) officials to resolve the current food crisis in Sri Lanka.

Premier Wickremesinghe has devised short, medium, and long-term plans to address the country’s current economic crisis. The United States has agreed to contribute US$ 120 million to the food security programme, he said.

Steps have been taken to import medicine due to a shortage in the country, with assistance from the World Bank and the ADB. According to andara, the international community has begun to see Sri Lanka in a positive light.

Bandara was speaking to the media at Sirikotha House – UNP Headquarters about the country’s current crisis situation and the consequences felt by the people.

“Wickremesinghe is repairing ties with Japan that were strained after their light rail project proposal was rejected during the Rajapaksa regime. They are now getting together to lend a helping hand to Sri Lanka. The current economic crisis of this country can be resolved only when the rest of the world is with us”, Bandara said.

He said as Sri Lanka has to pay huge arrears to gas suppliers, they had requested a letter of standby credit and as it did not come by gas supplies were halted and today the country is confronted with the gas shortage as a result.

“Wickremesinghe is holding discussions with an Omani gas trading company to import the required amount of gas from there. Three gas tankers are to reach Sri Lanka in a few days. A solution could be found to the gas issue by 10 July and a sustainable solution could be found before the end of July. We will be able to distribute 100,000 gas cylinders per day”, Bandara said.

With the suspension of chemical fertiliser imports, the agriculture sector in this country totally collapsed and food security is threatened as there is severe drop in harvest from paddy cultivation. Steps have been taken to import 5,000 metric tons of urea. However, from the coming Maha season, chemical fertiliser could be distributed to farmers uninterruptedly, UNP General Secretary Bandara added.

BY Naalir Jamaldeen