A mechanism to provide relief to farmers affected by extreme weather would be put in place within two weeks, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe told parliament yesterday.
The Prime Minister said so, making a special statement on the economic impact of the inclement weather and the steps initiated by the Government to control the cost of living.
The Prime Minister said a Committee comprising the Secretaries of Finance, Disaster Management, Home Affairs and Agriculture Ministries had been appointed to report to the Cabinet a mechanism to identify the affected farming families and provide relief to them.
A Cabinet Subcommittee comprising Ministers Patali Champika Ranawaka, Susil Premajayantha, Anura Priyadarshana Yapa and Rauf Hakeem had been appointed to study the impact of climate change on agriculture and make recommendations, the PM said.
Elaborating on the short-term measures decided by the Cabinet this week to control the cost of living, the PM said rice and coconut would be imported as a necessary measure to control their prices in the local market. “We have already given approval for importing 200,000 MT of rice. Even though the country received considerable rainfall in November, the monsoon rains were below the expected level. We will have to adopt measures to control the rice prices until the next Maha harvest reaches the market by April next year.”