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Government Gazette

New procurement body to ease price burden

The Government has decided to establish the State Trading Wholesale Company Ltd to import essential commodities directly from the international market and distribute them through the Co-operatives network across the country.

Trade, Marketing Development, Co-operative Service and Consumer Affairs Bandula Gunawardana told the media yesterday that the new Chairman and the Board of Directors of this State body will be appointed in this week.

But If the majority including the Opposition says this agreement is useless and It has done nothing for the reduction of prices of essential commodities, then there is no point of sustaining it further”.

The Government is in the process of formulating a new system by strengthening the Co-operatives and Sathosa branches to provide maximum reliefs to consumers.

The President has also emphasised the need of reviving the co-operative societies as they have a special place in the hearts of the ordinary masses for its role in providing commodities at fair prices to the consumers.

Measures are already under way to streamline the distribution of essential items with the help of State cooperatives and the private sector in order to provide essential items without undue delay to the consumers.

He said that the Government will directly provide funds to promote the Co-operatives sector and for its modernisation. It has planned to set up 306 Co-op Cities with immediate effect including liberated areas of North and East.

He said that a bank guarantee amounting to US$ 10 million has been obtained to form this new State establishment.”In order to strengthen the islandwide co-operative system, we will allocate Rs.1 million to each co-operative society to restructure and develop them as an urgent priority.

“The Economic Affairs Committee chaired by President Mahinda Rajapaksa will meet today to decide on the varieties of essential items to be imported through the State company.

“Though the Government has been incurring losses amounting Rs.9 billion by removing taxes, we have stabilising the prices of 10 essential commodities including dhall, sugar, sprats, big onion, red onion, gram, green gram, broiler chicken, potatoes and dried chilies for the last 10 months.

The Government has also removed five levies including VAT, PAL(Ports and Aviation Levy), SRL (Social Responsibilities Levy) Customs Surcharge and Cess Levy on 10 essential commodities by passing the Special Commodity Levy Bill in Parliament last year.

“It is questionable why the Opposition voted against the Bill,”the Minister said. This indicates their opposition to providing relief to the people.

“The Price Stability Agreement has been cancelled from December 25. It was in force for the last 10 months. New plans are under way to formulate a new system on the reduction of the prices of essential commodities.

The Minister said that the Government has not imposed any new taxes on essential commodities, but prices have gone up at present due to cancellation of the Price Stability Agreement.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Ceylinco Banyan Villas

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