Apr 22, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa Thursday pledged to completely halt the importation of chemical fertilizers in the near future.
Although high yields can be obtained by using chemical fertilizers, the damage to lives caused by pollution of lakes, canals and groundwater cannot be offset by that profit, the President said.
“Health officials point out that the effects of chemical fertilizers have led to a number of non-communicable diseases, including kidney disease. The cost of treatment and the impact on lives is high. In order to produce a healthy and productive citizen, the government must guarantee the right of the people to a non-toxic diet and agriculture in the country will be directed to use organic fertilizers for this purpose,” President Rajapaksa explained.
The President made these remarks at a meeting with the heads of state corporations and statutory boards at the President’s House in Fort this afternoon (22).
The President said all parties should intervene to increase the production of organic fertilizer in the country. Plans will be made to replace the fertilizer subsidy with organic fertilizer. The President pointed out that the $ 400 million spent annually on fertilizer imports could be used to uplift the lives of the people.
By putting himself in power, the people expected a change in policy, President Rajapaksa said adding that the support of all is needed to achieve those aspirations for the country.
Ceylon Sugar Company, which made continuous losses, has made a profit of Rs. 1100 million after stopping the importation of ethanol and that made it possible to make permanent, give promotions and bonuses to nearly 2500 people who have worked on casual and contract basis for nearly 20 years, the Chairman of the Ceylon Sugar Company said.
The Chairmen pointed out that the President’s program has been able to turn a number of loss-making institutions into profitable ones.
The “Vision of Prosperity” clearly sets out the goals that institutions must achieve. The Cabinet, the institutions relevant to the State Ministries and the progress to be achieved are clearly stated. President Rajapaksa told the chairpersons to work with collective responsibility and commit to achieving the policy change that the people wanted.
Secretary to the President PB Jayasundera, Chief Adviser to the President Lalith Weeratunga, Finance Secretary SR. Mr. Attygalle was also present at the occasion.