Sri Lanka probes 108 million rupee potato burial

ECONOMYNEXT  – Sri Lanka’s Industry and Commerce Ministry had bought 108 million rupees of potatoes and buried them during a so-called 52 day period political crisis, Economic Reforms and Public Distribution Minister Harsha de Silva said.

"I have asked for an investigation," Minister de Silva told reporters, "They bought potatoes from Welimada and put them in a paddy store. You cannot do that. The potatoes turned into worm infested piles of garbage."

"Then all this was buried. The cost was 108 million rupees with transport."

He said following a request for an investigation a committee had probed the matter.

"For the first time we are going to file charges, and take them to court," de Silva said. "They will have to pay."

De Silva said different vegetable had to be stored under different conditions.

A climate controlled warehouse is now being built in Dambulla with the help of a 300 million rupee grant from India.

De Silva’s ministry had put in 225 million rupees.

"You can imagine 108 million rupees was busted on potatoes," de Silva said.

The Dambulla warehouse will have compartments which will have separate compartments with different temperatures.

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He said in the Dambulla market also fruits and vegetables were being thrown away and fed to elephants from time to time.

"This is a loss to the farmer and the consumer," de Silva said.  (Colombo/Aug19/2019)