“If entire world shuts down, we will produce our own essential food” : Minister Bandula

“If entire world shuts down, we will produce our own essential food” : Minister Bandula

“If entire world shuts down, we will produce our own essential food” : Minister Bandula

Written by Staff Writer

28 Mar, 2020 | 10:44 pm

COLOMBO (News 1st): As News 1st continuously pointed out, vegetables and essential goods are being sold at different prices at different places. We found out that vegetable are being sold even below the control price at some places due to lack of purchase of stocks by merchants.

Our reporters, visited the Colombo Manning Market today (March 28) in order to inquire about the prevailing situation.

Vendors complained about the situation, said:

“The vegetables arrived today. But we are met with a situation where we cannot sell these vegetables because the merchants have not come to the market. We are requesting to sell these vegetables for concessionary rate. Then we don’t care if the market shuts down for even 10 days.”

According to them, tomatoes, cabbage, green chillies and potatoes have been stacked without being sold.

They point out that the Government has to direct their attention towards this issue and take fair action.

Chairman of the Colombo Manning market, Lal Hettige said;

“We are not blaming this on anyone. The Government advised us not to step outside as this is a high risk zone. But sadly, our businessmen were scared of this. As a result, only 25% of the businessmen turned up at the market. Therefore, a large amount of vegetables were left stranded at the market. By now we have requested the relevant authorities to permit us to sell the vegetables at a lower price. We ask the retail sellers not to come here to buy 1 or 2 kilos. Anyone who wishes to buy above 10 kilos can come here. We ask only those people to come here.”

He further said that the decision to close the Manning market will be taken tomorrow (March 29) and that they also hope to keep it at least open for 2-3 days a week.

Meanwhile, Minister Bandula Gunawardena engaged in an inspection tour at the Meegoda economic centre. The Minister toured the economic centre to inquire into the distribution mechanism of vegetables during the current situation.

Speaking to the media he said;

“The economic centres in Welisara, Narahempita, Meegoda, Rathmalana, and Piliyandala are not retail markets, they are only meant for wholesale trade. If these centres continue to remain open the vegetables that come from the villages will also not go to waste. We will keep these centres open 24 hours of the day, and the IGP agreed to provide police protection to these locations.”

In response to allegations that vendors don’t sell vegetables at control prices, the Minister replied;

“This is a competitive market. No one can sell items for exorbitant rates. The price is determined by the supply and demand at the market.”

He further said;

“The Consumer Affairs Authority has imposed a control price on vegetables considering the stocks available at the Manning market. You cannot impose a control price on vegetables because there are no provisions in the law to do so, however you can impose a maximum price, a maximum price and control price are two different things.”

Also commenting on the shortage of imported items to the country, the Minister says that if all the airports and ports in the world closed down and they will not be able to get these items, that our own essential goods and services will have to be produced.

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