Trade, Commerce, and Food Security Minister Nalin Fernando told Parliament yesterday that the government will be in a position to provide essential commodities at reasonable prices for the next three months without burdening the people further.
The Minister said that the fuel, gas, and electricity crises have greatly affected food security due to economic problems in the last few months, and the prices of imported goods have increased drastically due to the lack of dollars.
He said this while participating in the Adjournment Motion debate on the proposal to provide relief to the people in the plantation sector who could not meet their daily food requirements.
The Minister further said that ten essential commodities have already been imported to the country needed for the next three months and over US$ 250 million worth of essential commodities were imported so far under Indian loan assistance.
The Minister said that more than 70,000 metric tonnes of essential goods were received from India and we faced the problem of whether it is possible to reduce the price of food during that time.
It has been reported that inflation decreased by 10 percent in November. Accordingly, a kilo of dry chilies has reduced by Rs 300, a kilo of dhal has been reduced by Rs.165, a kilo of wheat flour has been reduced by 150, a kilo of potato has been reduced by Rs.100, a kilo of white sugar has reduced by Rs 90, a kilo of raw vegetables has decreased by Rs. 40 a and kilo of samba rice has decreased by Rs.20 this month compared to last June.
He also said that it was possible to reduce inflation by 10 percent because of the accurate fiscal policies of the government. The Minister said that the price of a kilo of wheat flour was increased to Rs.400 which had a great impact on the people of the plantations.
However, we have been able to reduce the wholesale price of a kilo of wheat flour up to Rs.230 while the retail price has been reduced to Rs.250. He also reminded a control price was imposed on eggs and rice and steps were taken to provide concessions to local farmers.