To combat food shortages, Sri Lanka targets hoarders and bad traders!
Covid 19 has put the entire world in a difficult situation. People are fighting to survive not only the infection but also in a variety of ways. As a result of the lockdown, people are facing joblessness, food scarcity, and a lack of essential products. Services for export and import have also been halted for a long time.
To address food shortages caused in part by the country’s shrinking foreign exchange reserves, Sri Lanka said on Friday that new laws are needed to discourage hoarding and increase fines for traders.
Scarcity of essential foods like rice, sugar, and milk powder have prompted the government to declare a food emergency in recent times, allowing officials to seize staples and sell them at guaranteed prices.
Sri Lanka imports a large percentage of its food, and shortages have been exacerbated by an import ban imposed as a result of the country’s depleting foreign exchange reserves and sharp depreciation of the rupee.
Manufacturing shortages and logistics-related backlogs have also played a role due to the new Covid variant.
Price controls, according to State Minister for Consumer Protection Lasantha Alagiyawanna, appear to be necessary at this time. They hope, however, that this will not be the case in the long run. They do not believe the country is facing a food shortage.
He also added that the government would introduce a new law to parliament on Tuesday which should solidify consumer protection and increase penalties for unauthorized traders.
Alagiyawant stated that importers have already received Cabinet approval to continue importing and that new stocks of essential items will lower prices.