Opposition Leader Mahinda Rajapaksa today urged the government to take quick action to destroy the Fall Army Worm which has almost become a national disaster.
He said the pest had spread to several areas including Ampara, Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Kegalle and caused much damage to the crops and livelihood of many.
“It is time the government declares an emergency situation and takes immediate steps to control the pest,” the MP said. “UNP led government seems to be neglecting the agriculture sector as usual because of the economic policies it is following and believing in. However, we urge the government to take immediate steps to control the pest and save the economy."
He asked the government to pay compensation to the affected farmers and requested that the debts of the affected farmers be written off so that they would not fall into double trouble.
The MP urged Agriculture, Rural Economy and Fisheries Minister P. Harrison to make a statement in Parliament and explain the steps taken by the government to control the caterpillar.
House Leader of the House Lakshman Kiriella said the Cabinet has approved several papers pertaining to giving various concessions to those affected by the pest. He said Minister Harrison met President Maithripala Sirisena to discuss the steps that have to be taken to control the pest. (Yohan Perera and Ajith Siriwardana)