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Sri Lanka PM asks Covid-19 food delivery blocks to be cleared amid permit raj

SUPPLIES – Fruit vendor making sales in Mirihana, Nugegoda,today March 28, 2020/EconomyNext.com

ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka’s Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has asked police to remove impediments for food transport amid a Covid-19 curfew as they faced difficulties.

“Curfew has to be strictly enforced but please give the necessary permission for vegetables, fruits and coconuts have to reach the economic centres,” Prime Minister Rajapaksa said in a statement.

“It has come to the notice of the PM that there had been impediments to the transport of goods.”

Sri Lanka attempted centralized control of food distribution and a requirement for permits was imposed yesterday.

Critics say permits may also promote corruption as had happened in Sri Lanka and elsewhere in the past.

Some workers were too scared to work and delivery persons while others also said they were stopped because they did not have ‘permits’.

Another retailer said workers who had used their IDs to come to work on Friday did not turn up on Saturday as they could not get to work amid stricter curfews.

However on Friday, the curfew was disregarded by some persons, especially in Colombo, forcing the police to tighten.

Pharmacies which sold goods directly were ordered closed, and only a firm connected to the state was allowed to sell to persons directly.

On Friday many enterprising individuals started delivery on their own. Some were still seen operating on Saturday. (Colombo/Mar28/2020)

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