Govt. to spend Rs.20 Bn for paddy purchases | Sunday Observer

Govt. to spend Rs.20 Bn for paddy purchases

28 March, 2023

Agriculture Minister Mahinda Amaraweera says that the Government is ready to spend up to 20 billion rupees for the arrangement of buying paddy in the Maha season. The Minister while participating in the Government’s programme to provide 10 kilos of rice for free per month to low-income families in Weeraketiya and Agunukolapalassa area yesterday.

“This year, the Government made arrangements for the purchase of paddy in the Maha Season through District Secretaries and Divisional Secretaries. It was also decided to turn the paddy into rice and give it to low-income families free of charge in order  to improve the economic status of small paddy mill owners,” the Minister said.

According to a decision taken by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, the rice distribution programme began yesterday in each district and the rice distribution was done in Hambantota, Colombo, Gampaha, Kalutara, Galle, Matara, Ratnapura and Kegalle Districts yesterday.

The Minister said the Government has decided to give 10 kilos of rice to each family for two months, but if necessary, the President has focused on implementing the arrangement of providing rice to every family continuously for the next few months.

“If the rice distribution programme cannot be continued, the Government is ready to provide at least some financial assistance as a subsidy to all the low-income families.

Some people say that we are giving these subsidies because an election is coming up. As the Government, we do not give concessions to the people with their votes in mind.

The rice that is distributed in a number of districts is grown by the farmers of Hambantota. It is not the public that needs elections today. But several political parties need an election. We will hold elections after the economic condition of the country improves,” Minister Amaraweera said. A number of officials including several Hambantota Divisional Secretaries participated in this event.