Saturday, 23 June 2012

Audio: "There must be some other reason"- Min.of Agriculture

Minister of Agriculture Mahinda Yapa Abeywardana denied charges made against the governments agricultural policy by former Presidential advisor on Agricultural Affairs Hemakumara Nanayakkara, and said that “there must be some other reason for his resignation”

Speaking to the Daily Mirror regarding key issues raised by Nanayakkara, who resigned his post, the Minister said that the government has given all facilities necessary for farming. “You must understand the fact that it was this government who has given all the necessary facilities for the farmers, not only fertilizer subsidies but all other facitlites are being provided. When there was a problem last year regarding some farmers the government gave seed free to them, the worst affected got money as well in that instance” he said.

When the Daily Mirror asked the Minister about specific issues raised by Nanayakkara regarding the purchase of paddy for prices below the guaranteed minimum, the Minister said that there is no truth to this claim. “ There is a board that purchases paddy from the farmers and this board has not been given the authority to purchase any paddy at a price below the guaranteed minimum, it must be the private sector who bought paddy at the price as claimed” he said.

When asked as to the charges of the proposed airports to be built in Kundasale and Seethaeliya, the Minister said that no decision has been taken regarding the building of an airport in these areas. “I spoke about this in parliament yesterday, there is no such plan to build a airport in Kundasale, Its true that people are trying to draw plans to build airports in different areas of the country but there is no decision about building an airport in Kundasale, no one has informed us about such a decision, event in Seethaeliya the people went there surveyed the place and got back but there was no decision taken regarding the building of an airport there, we haven’t even spoken about the how much land needed for those areas” he said.

The Daily Mirror also asked the Minister about the charges leveled against other industries related to agriculture such as the Milk industry, the Minister said Nanayakkara had the authority to rectify these faults as the advisor to the President. “ He was the Advisor on Agricultural affairs and he had the authority to rectify them, why didn’t he do so?” he asked.

When the Daily Mirror pointed out the Nanayakkara speaking to us earlier said that he did report all irregularities to the authorities only to be ignored by them, the Minister said this can be a reason for the resignation. “Then he must be resigning on the fact that his recommendations were not considered and not for any other issue or this particular issue, he must be having some other reasons for his resignation” ( By Hafeel Farisz)
Original Article Here

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