Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said it is essential to purchase paddy at a reasonable price from the farmers in order to implement the program for providing subsidies to the lower-income families in the country.
He said this at a discussion held at the Prime Minister’s Office on purchase of paddy and distribution of rice. The issues pertaining to paddy purchase, its present position, the needs for reforms in the social security data system, production of agricultural crops were discussed at the meeting. It was revealed that harvesting has been completed in many districts and purchase of paddy would be commenced by next week.
It was decided to solve the problems with regard to restructuring of the social protection network and officers were instructed to take early actions to enact reforms in accordance with the circulars issued by the Ministry of Public Administration.
The Prime Minister said that several decisions were taken at a meeting chaired by the President to implement the plans for self-sufficiency in food. “We have a very good harvest and the government fixed Rs 100 as purchase price of kilogram of paddy. Funds have already been allocated. If more manpower is required, the assistance from military can be obtained,” he said.
“Do not look at conventional rules when fulfilling expectations of farmers. The work must be done immediately to bring relief to the farmers. The World Bank also extended support for the programme to help the low-income families, but we have delayed the preparation of updated data bank,” he said.
State Ministers Ashoka Priyantha, Mohan P Silva, D B Herath, Cader Masthan, Anupa Pasqual, District Committee Chairmen, Chamal Rajapaksa, Pradeep Undugoda, Sanjiwa Edirimanna, Akila Ellawala, Rajika Wickremasinghe, Sahan Pradeep, Defene Secreatry Kamal Gunaratne, General Shavendra Silva and other officials were present on this occasion, while Agriculture Ministers Mahinda Amaraweera, S B Dissanayake and District Secretaries joined the discussion virtually.