Trade operations for wholesale were started in the main Dedicated Economic Centers situated at the Western Province where the quarantine curfew is in operation.
Accordingly the business operations of the Dedicated Economic Centers at Narahenpita, Rathmalana and Bokundara commenced today. The relevant traders of the Dedicated Economic Center at Narahenpita said that hundred thousand kilo grams of vegetables were sold in it within 03 hours when it was kept opened for business. Today evening, Minister of Agriculture Mahindananda Aluthgamage, State Minister Sashindra Rajapaksha, including government officials made a visit to the Dedicated Economic Center at Narahenpita of which the trade operations were started. The Minister who met the representatives of Trade Associations and the traders inquired about the issues what they are facing. The Minister emphasized here that all the parties should act as per the instructions of the Health Authorities and the Public Health Inspectors. Here, the Minister made an appeal to all to act with responsibility since the action in irresponsible manner would lead to close these Dedicated Economic Centers again. Retail business would not take place in these Dedicated Economic Centers. Only the wholesale traders who have been issued permits can enter into these Dedicated Economic Centers. Necessary arrangements have been made to purchase all essential food stuffs through the Dedicated Economic Centers which have been kept opened for business.
Today, Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage and State Minister Sashindra Rajapaksha made a field visit to the Dedicated Economic Center at Meegoda which has been closed. During this visit, necessary arrangements were made to carry out PCR tests by tomorrow itself for the 260 employees of the Dedicated Economic Center at Meegoda. The Minister stated here that the reports of those tests could be obtained on Friday, and the Dedicated Economic Center at Meegoda would be disinfected on Saturday and again kept opened on coming Monday (9). For that purpose, the Minister directed the management of the Dedicated Economic Centers including the government officials to take necessary actions by strictly following the instructions given by the health sectors. Here the Minister directed the Police not to allow entry for any person into the Dedicated Economic Centers except the persons who have undergone to PCR tests.
During the said visit made by the Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage to the Dedicated Economic Center at Meegoda, media personals raised a question from him about the real situation of the fact being uttered that there is a scarcity for fertilizers. ‘’30,000 Metric Tons of fertilizers was received yesterday and another 30,000 Metric Tons of fertilizer is to come and some are making irresponsible statement saying that there is a scarcity for fertilizer, nevertheless it is a utter lie’’ Minister Mahindananda Aluthgamage said, in responding to the question raised so. The Minister further assured that the government never allows the farmers to suffer.
‘The farmers have been issued with necessary permits to sell their yields to the Dedicated Economic Centers and all facilities also made for the purpose, therefore the farmers could sell their products to such Economic Centers without any troubles’’ State Minister said. Therefore, the State Minister requested the farmers not to become victim of such false utterances but to sell their products to those centers. Here, the State Minister further said that the government has implemented an efficient work-plan even for the traders which does not create any difficulties and that of a work-plan which does not create any troubles to the public in despite of being imposed curfew. Colombo District Secretary Mr. Pradeep Yasarathne including government officers, officials from the Ministry and officers from the defence and health sectors also joined this field visit made to the Dedicated Economic Center at Meegoda.