The Sri Lanka Podujana Peramuna says the government is not at fault for the increase in prices of several essential commodities.
Speaking during a media briefing this morning, Minister Gamini Lokuge said the economy is not strong to subsidize and reduce prices, when the prices of commodities in the world market have increased.
The Minister said the economy cannot move forward when a country is in lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic adding Sri Lanka was not a country with an abundant of reserves.
He said the price of milk powder increased as a result of the dollar.
Minister Lokuge claimed the government previously provided relief and controlled prices of many items adding even today the Ceylon Petroleum Corporation is functioning on government aid, while the government is bearing losses.
Responding to queries over the conduct of the Provincial Council Election on India’s requirement, Minister Lokuge said Provincial Councils were established under the Indo-Lanka agreement signed during then-President JR Jayewardene’s government.
He however said now, all minority parties from the North voted in favour of the Act dissolving Provincial Councils adding then-President Mahinda Rajapaksa held Provincial Councils Elections in the North and Eastern provinces over the requests of these political parties.
He claimed then-President Rajapaksa decided that the provinces must be governed along with public representatives and held the elections even though the government knew it was unfavourable.
The Minister said as a result, Chief Ministers, Chairmen and Ministers were appointed who dealt with the government irrespective of agreements and disagreements.
Minister Lokuge said Provincial Council Elections will be held, not due to India’s requirement but by considering it a need for democracy.