Shortage of sugar in Jaffna peninsula
[TamilNet, Wednesday, 06 August 2008, 06:09 GMT]
Jaffna Government Agent (GA) has suspended the distribution of sugar as part of the relief food assistance under World Food Programme as the stocks of sugar in the government stores have depleted, sources in Jaffna said. The AG has directed the co-operative shops to increase the amount of rice, wheat flour, lentils and cooking oil instead of sugar.
Sugar issued to co-operative retail shops by the GA and sold at Rs. 68.50 per kg earlier is being sold for more than Rs. 90 in the black market in the peninsula.
Although the GA has directed the co-operative shops to issue half a kg of sugar to a family after two weeks, co-operative officials have responded they will not enough stock of sugar to execute GA's request.
While the government continues to publicize that essential food for Jaffna peninsula has been brought in three ships shortage of rice, wheat flour, and sugar continues to plague the peninsula residents, civil society sources said.
The earlier practice of shipping essential food items to Jaffna peninsula was handled exclusively by Jaffna GA, but currently private traders handle the distribution.
The private sector, however, is disinterested in the shipment of essential food items as the profit margin in these goods is low.
The GA brings in essential food items only for relief food supply, and the public is forced to buy them in the black market.
A kg of rice while being sold for Rs. 65 in Colombo it is sold at Rs. 130 in the peninsula, and sugar sold at Rs. 60 in Colombo is sold for more than Rs. 90 in Jaffna.