Agro and fisheries sector analyse 2018 budget and its promises

Agro and fisheries sector analyse 2018 budget and its promises

Written by Staff Writer

03 Mar, 2019 | 9:16 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st) – The annual budget is the document that depicts the annual economic plan of a country and the allocation of financial resources for the future projects and activities of a government.

Yet, the reality behind financial policies in many of the previous budgets are worth any concerned citizen’s attention.

In the budget presented for the year 2018 by the government, agriculture was given top priority. The budget proposals included:

  • Removal of silt from the bottom of small and medium-sized tanks.
  • Construction of three storage facilities to collect farming produce in the Polonnaruwa, Kilinochchi and Ratnapura districts.
  • Maintaining storage facilities based on a token system.
  • Introducing an insurance scheme for paddy, potato, corn and big onions based on weather indices.

Commenting on past budget proposals, Chief Organizer, All Ceylon Farmers’ Federation Namal Karunatne noted that Rs. 3000mn was to be allocated for insuring six types of crops. Compensation of Rs.40,000 per farmer was also planned. However, only a handful of farmers received compensation.

The following promises were made to the fishermen as well.

  • The government would absorb 50% of the refrigeration cost to store fish from multi-day fishing vessels.
  • The government would absorb 50% of the cost of multi-day fishing trawlers that are longer than 55 feet.
  • Refurbishment of ferries and ports.
  • Establishing a manufacturing zone to process and store sea cucumbers in the Kilinochchi district.
  • Completion of infrastructure facilities of the model marine-life industry park.

Chairman of All Ceylon Fisheries Union, Ratna Gamage noted the government made many false promises last year to the fisheries industry. He added that Chilaw and Gandara fisheries harbours were to be developed, yet they all proved to be false promises. He added that although some were ignored the government lived up to their promises and developed Devundara harbour.

Senior Professor Milton Rajaratne of the Management Faculty of Peradeniya University commented that the lack of support for the farmer resulted in low performing growth rates of the country. professor I.R Prasanna of the Economics department of the Ruhuna University also shared similar sentiments.

 

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