The Government this week decided to follow an accelerated procurement procedure for fertiliser to avoid import delays, axing out time granted for the appeals process.
The Agriculture Ministry will call for bids to import 36,000MT of urea, 18,000MT of T.S.P. and 18,000MT of OMP to provide fertiliser for the 500,000 hectares of paddy to be cultivated in the upcoming Yala season.
Proposing to shorten the bidding time period from 14 days to seven days, Agriculture Minister Duminda Dissanayake told Cabinet the normal procurement procedure would make it difficult to deliver the fertiliser in time for the cultivation season.
The Cabinet also gave approval to issue Treasury bonds to the two Government fertiliser companies, Ceylon Fertilizer Company Ltd. and Commercial Fertilizer Company to finance the purchases.
However, as the Government is unable to supply the T.S.P. fertiliser used during the initial stage of paddy cultivation by April, the Cabinet gave approval to procure 7,000 MT from the private sector, which has already imported the material to the country using the price formula used by the Ministry at present.
Cabinet also gave approval to certified prices to purchase paddy from farmers in the Maha cultivation season, Co-Cabinet Spokesman Minister Gayantha Karunathileka said on Wednesday
On a joint proposal made by Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera and Rural Economic Affairs Minister P. Harrison, Government approved to pay Rs. 38 per kilo Nadu, Rs. 41 per kilo samba and Rs. 41 kilo of keeri samba.