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Surplus rice stocks distributed among low income earners - PM

“Govt. negotiating with IMF to provide more relief to low-income earners”

28 March, 2023

Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardena said that surplus rice stocks are distributed among low income earners.

The Prime Minister was speaking at a ceremony to distribute free rice to low income earners under the Government’s programme to purchase paddy in the Maha Season at Maharagama on Sunday. The Prime Minister further said: “Today, it has been possible to deliver rice to the low-yielding areas of the country, as there is a surplus in several rice-growing districrs. It was possible to take a leading approach especially in terms of rice.

“The Government took steps to alleviate various problems faced by the farmers who have great potential and made it possible to producerice amidst many difficulties. We are a blessed nation which can plant anything on its soil and enjoy its fruits in no time. It will take only sixty days to bear fruit if something is planted on our soil. This earth is such a rich piece of land which allows the people to enjoy the best of it,” the Prime Minister said.

“We offer our respect and deep gratitude to the Divisional Secretariat officials as well as to all households who joined in the gardening programme from village to village. The farmers of the Hambantota District have been able to send their district’s surplus produce to other districts. As the Prime Minister,    I held a long discussion about this with the farmers of the area last week. With the agreement to send the surplus of that district to the Colombo District, under the coordination of the District Secretary, it was possible for us to launch a programme to provide rice to every low-income family facing food difficulties as per the President’s decision. It is indeed a great victory for all,” Prime Minister Gunawardena said.

“I have worked with the people of Maharagama for 40 years as a Member of Parliament. We are bound to perform that service for you then and even today without any political favour. Let’s get through this difficult time that our country is facing today hand in hand and in unity. Almost all the countries of the world have now expressed their ability to help us. The opportunity is available for us to deal with foreign countries and banks. All the banks that had suspended transactions expressed their support to us. We are working hard to ease the Cost of Living by relaxing the laws enacted on imports,” he said.

“The President assumed the Presidency to facilitate you and me and the country to get out of this crisis and gain confidence once again. The government has started negotiations with the International Monetary Fund to increase the allowance when the ongoing program of collecting information about low-income earners is completed. We will be able to initiate this programme in every district and complete it within the next few days. This is a victory of our farmers. It was not brought from abroad. I expect that you will enjoy the fruits of these endeavours,” the Prime Minister said.

Yadamini Gunawardena MP, Colombo District Secretary, Maharagama Divisional Secretary and other officials were present.