Disaster Management Minister Anura Priyadarshana Yapa was critical of the government’s current mechanisms established to contain the rising cost of living, at yesterday’s Cabinet meeting.
The Cabinet met with President Maithripala Sirisena in the chair. Asked about what happened, Mr. Yapa told Daily Mirror that he said the mechanism had not yielded, and therefore new measures had to be worked out.
The Minister said SATHOSA, the state-owned retail chain, could not make an impact in bringing down the prices of essential items.
“SATHOSA alone cannot address the issue. There should be a system involving all the stakeholders to control the prices. The price is determined according to the supply and demand. When there is a shortfall in supply of any item, it has to be increased. We need a mechanism for it,” he said.
Commenting coconut prices, he said the retail price had shot up due to the crop failure.
“There is a crop failure due to the dry spell. Again, we need to introduce drip irrigation for coconut cultivations during dry months. We also need to address rice shortage. When we identify any shortage in local production, it has to be filled with imports to control prices,” he said. (Kelum Bandara)