Series of measures to provide relief to people affected by floods, droughts and high cost of living

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) –The Sri Lankan government has decided to implement several measures to curb the rising cost of living and provide relief to the people affected by the inclement weather and drought.

Prices of food items have increased due to the impact of unexpected weather conditions on food supply in the country. Also, recent floods and droughts have also affected the livelihood of the people.

A number of discussions have been held by the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Cost of Living and the Cabinet Sub-Committee on Economic Management to mitigate the situation.

According to the decisions taken at these discussions the Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has proposed to take following action with immediate effect.

• Establishment of a family budget unit to review provision of essential goods to an affordable price

• Establishment of a Coordinating Committee chaired by secretary to Ministry of Finance and Mass Media to affirm the success of implementing decisions taken by Subcommittee on Cost of Living.

• Implement a program to distribute a relief pack which includes rice, dhal, sugar, sprats, onion, potatoes, and canned fish through supermarkets, Sathosa and other shops.

• Reimburse 50% of income tax and provide reliefs on electricity for institutions that participate in this program.

• To expedite import of coconut kernel assign its responsibility to Secretary to the Ministry of National Policies and Economic Affairs.

• Look into the opportunity of obtaining help of Australia for following method of quarantine in coconut importation.

• Pay the difference between compensation paid by insurance trust fund and assessed damage through District Secretaries before 31 Dec 2017.

• Take necessary action to make relief to families whose cultivation has been damaged for several seasons in Kurunegala, Puttalam, Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa and Vanni Districts.

The cabinet of ministers has given its approval to the Prime Minister’s proposals.

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