BY Buddhika Samaraweera
Former Prime Minister and outgoing United National Party (UNP) chairman and parliamentarian Ranil Wickremesinghe called on the government to finalize the purchase of food and fuel on credit from India, which is currently under discussion as there will be inevitably a food shortage in the country as the Sinhala and Hindu holiday season approaches.
In a media statement yesterday (28), he said that by the time of the upcoming Sinhala and Hindu New Years holiday season, there will inevitably be a food shortage in the country, adding that this year’s harvest of crops in many areas was only 60% of last year’s harvest.
âThink about the political context we would have to face if such a situation arose. In such a situation, there will be a rash among the enraged general public. It affects both government and parliament. Therefore, in order to develop the country, the occurrence of such a situation should be avoided, âhe noted.
Claiming that the government is currently in talks with India to purchase fuel and food on credit, Wickremesinghe said those talks should be concluded and the relevant agreements finalized.
âBorrowing or borrowing goods will not solve the current currency crisis in the country, but I urge the government to implement the program of buying food and oil on credit, at least for temporary relief. ”
The former prime minister also commented on the US dollar (USD) crisis in the country. He said the dollar deficit was now “serious” and businesses were collapsing, the middle class was deteriorating and jobs were being lost as a result. Therefore, he said the government should take immediate action to address these issues.
âDespite the Covid-19 pandemic, a number of countries have made economic progress in 2020/2021, so we need to address these issues. ”
Meanwhile, following controversial remarks regarding a possible food shortage in the country in the future, the Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture, Professor Udith K. Jayasinghe-Mudalige, was dismissed from his post on December 22. . Speaking to the media, he said there is a possibility of food shortage due to the crisis situation in the country.