The Ceylon Wharf Services Association says a large number of containers with imported essential food items could not be released from the port due to a shortage of dollars.
Speaking to NewsRadio, General Secretary of the Association BI Abdeen said the goods will become unsuitable for consumption if they are kept at the port for an extended period.
Abdeen said the goods are not being released due to the inability to pay for Letters of Credit opened at banks.
He said the prevailing foreign exchange crisis has affected all essential food items including potatoes, dhal, onions and sugar.
The General Secretary said the Association and its affiliates are carrying out duties adding however the government must find a solution for the current crisis.
He said the businessmen who imported the goods will be faced with serious issues once the goods become unsuitable for consumption.
Furthermore, Abdeen said Minister of Trade Bandula Gunawardana must intervene and resolve the matter promptly.
He said Minister Gunawardana and the present administration cannot pass on the responsibility of the dire situation which they themselves have created, blaming the fault on the shortage of dollars.
He said the entire business industry is collapsing adding the government is responsible for ensuring that the public has access to essential items.
Abdeen said Minister Gunawardana must bring the situation to the President’s attention, adding if not the country will face a famine.