Trade Minister proposes implementation of ration scheme for essential food items

The government has reportedly focused on introducing a ration system as an alternative approach to solve the shortage of essential food items and the rapid hike of commodity prices.

The matter was addressed at the last Cabinet meeting, according to reports. The proposition has been tabled by Trade Minister Bandula Gunawardena. He suggested that essential commodities be distributed to low income families using the SATHOSA outlets on a ration basis.

These goods can be provided at a significantly lower price than the average prices in the market, he pointed out.

At present, the price of a kilo of sugar has risen to Rs. 240 and there are indications that the price could increase more, revealing the occurrence of a price surge beyond the government’s control.

The Sri Lankan Rupee has depreciated against the US Dollar on a daily basis due to the sharp rise in the prices of imported essential commodities, followed by container and shipping charges.

The introduction of a ration scheme, therefore, may be taken place in the future with the aim of providing relief to the public, including low income families.

The Trade Minister stated that 100,000 metric tonnes of Nadu, Kekulu and Ponni Samba rice will be imported from India, in any event were the traders taking action to further increase the rice prices, in the objective of controlling the prices.

Over the next three weeks, 6,000 kilos of Basmati rice will be imported from Pakistan, reports added.


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