Sri Lanka’s President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed to fix the maximum price, Rs. 2500 for a pack of kg 50 fertilizer in any brand that is given to the farmers.
Sirisena also instructed an increase in the import tax for potatoes and big onions, with effect from midnight today.
The President gave these instructions at a special meeting held Monday at the Presidential Secretariat to discuss about the issues faced by the farmers island-wide.
President Sirisena, considering the difficulties of the farmers who had to buy the kg 50 fertilizer packs for different prices such as Rs. 2750, Rs. 3400 and Rs. 3500, gave these instructions to the officials to impose a fixed price.
Sirisena also instructed them to take actions to place the price on the fertilizer pack prominently so that anybody could see it. According to his instructions, the fertilizer of both state and private sector will be distributed through Agrarian Services Centers.
Sirisena further directed the officials to credit the fertilizer subsidy of Rs 25,000, which is given to farmers per hectare, to any bank account given by the farmers. He instructed not to debit that credit for the loans they have taken from those banks.
Expressing his views Sirisena said that the Government will not take any decision which will make farming community uncomfortable. He further stated that the aim of the Government is to prevent imposition of economic burdens on farmers.
President Sirisena promised to discuss issues related to fertilizer subsidy and purchasing paddy in detail at the next cabinet meeting and pledged to take steps to solve these issues.
A special discussion was held regarding these issues in Polonnaruwa yesterday, with the participation of representatives of farmers’ Organizations in Polonnaruwa District and special attention was drawn to the problems presented by them.
During the meeting the President reviewed the progress of the national food production program at divisional levels. Discussions were also held regarding the national exhibition, which is to be held on March 06-08 at the BMICH under the ‘Wasa Wisa Nathi Ratak’ national program.
Ven. Athuraliye Ratana Thero, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, Ministers Ravi Karunanayake, Duminda Dissanayake, and officials participated in this meeting.