Procedure followed on fertilizer ship was wrong – President

President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa has said that despite the appointment of educated, intelligent and senior people to the top posts in ministries and corporations on a scientific basis, most of them have failed in their responsibilities.

During a meeting with newspaper editors at the Presidential Secretariat yesterday (27), the President revealed that there was no balance between the actions of the Chairmen of Corporations and the Secretaries of Ministries in their official duties.

The President emphasized that they lacked practicality in making decisions, implementing them and even dealing with ministers.

The President was responding to a question posed by an editor who asked why the majority of the Chairmen and Secretaries to the Ministries who were appointed on a scientific basis and having being interviewed, and with public confidence that the new President would make a clear difference in the country, have failed today.  

The President had told the heads of media institutions that although some of the intellectual appointees have fulfilled their responsibilities very well, the majority have failed.

The President said that although he had made plans with a vision of prosperity with high hopes during his tenure in office, the whole economy had collapsed due to the spread of the Covid virus in a way no one had expected.

He had also said that US $ 5 billion a year in revenue from tourism, US $ 5 billion in treasury bills, huge revenues from exports and revenues from the country’s employment have all been blocked as a result of the pandemic.

The President also said that US $ 360 million would have to be allocated annually to repay $ 6.5 billion in loan installments as well as crude oil imports.

The President also said that US $ 360 million would have to be allocated annually for crude oil imports and $ 6.5 billion in loan repayments as well.

The President said that Sri Lanka had $ 7 billion in foreign reserves before the Covid epidemic and that the then Governor of the Central Bank had warned him that the dollar reserves would run out due to the collapse of revenue streams due to Covid.

Therefore, measures have been taken to restrict the importation of vehicles and the importation of luxury goods, he said. The President emphasized that no projects implemented with foreign loan assistance had been implemented during the past two years.

The President said that as most of the dollars received by the country are spent on importing vehicles as well as crude oil, they are focusing on the importation of electric vehicles.

However, the President emphasized that even in the operation of electric vehicles, more attention should be paid to the use of renewable energy sources instead of the use of electricity generated from coal and oil, but added that the CEB officials did not provide the expected support.

Out of the 7000 solar modules identified, 800 were advertised and advertised, but only a small number of investors came forward for around 150 of them, the President said.

The President expressed his concern over the lack of interest on the part of officials in educating the public on the use of renewable energy.

He had also said at no point had be exerted any pressure to switch to carbonic agriculture overnight, adding that it had been discussed to start with 70% chemical fertilizer and 30% carbonic fertilizer.    

At the end of the year, an inspection of its progress revealed that officials had arranged for the two fertilizers to be mixed and cultivated using the same fertilizer at the same time, the President said.

The President said that this method was not suitable as it kills the beneficial micro-organisms as a result of mixing the fertilizers and that the preparation of bio-fertilizers using micro-organisms was an advanced method followed in the world.

 “In fact, I did not receive any assistance for this from the Agriculture Ministry. This is not compost fertilizer that is being made, it goes beyond that. One of my goals is the establishment of a green agriculture industry. Don’t let that be unsuccessful,” the President requested the media heads.

Responding to questions raised by the media heads on the controversial Chinese fertilizer shipment, he said that the procedure followed was completely wrong, adding that the testing of relevant samples should have been properly done prior to the ship arriving in the country.

The President emphasized that the rejection of goods after the issuance of letters of credit could lead to an international problem.

The President said that when he came to power he had fixed the price of paddy at 30 rupees, increased it to 50 rupees and allowed consumers to buy rice at 96 rupees.

The President also said that although the farmers make a profit by selling paddy at a higher price than the fixed price, the consumers are getting into trouble due to rice being sold at a higher price.

The President also revealed that despite the pro-people policies being implemented, the commitment made towards those policies has not gone to the people.

He alleged that the ministers and officials were making various arguments regarding those policies but, no action is being taken to properly educate the people regarding these policies.  

The President noted that although large income was received through pepper, beetle leaves, rubber and coconut etc and restricting the import of ethanol, profits made by sugar production, limiting imported tiles and increasing local tile production, no one seems to be paying attention to these areas and that even the ministers are not even  evaluating the progress of these projects.

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