The looming specter of rice shortage – the Island

Tuesday, January 4, 2022

Litro and Laugfs introduced new regulations governing their production processes to explain the current shortage of cooking gas. They would have us believe that they cannot maintain their production at previous levels as they have to fill and distribute gas cylinders in accordance with the new standards set by the Sri Lanka Standards Institution (SLSI) and judicial directives. Laugfs chairman WKH Wegapitiya has been quoted by media as saying that previously his company released up to 40,000 to 50,000 cylinders of gas per day, but today the number has dropped to 10,000 .

New regulations and standards may have caused a delay in the LPG production process, but they are certainly welcome as they are aimed at ensuring the safety of gas consumers. In fact, SLSI should have stipulated these standards earlier and the Consumer Affairs Authority (CAA) should have taken steps to ensure that gas companies meet them.

As for the reasons Litro and Laugfs cite for the LPG shortage, one question the CAA should ask them is whether they have maintained high production levels previously at the expense of the safety standards they are now forced to follow. join. What one infers from their explanation in question is that they continued to produce gas cylinders to meet demand and that the measures they adopted to ensure the safety of their products were not not adequate.

Now that the gas companies have admitted that their production has declined due to the new safety rules, an investigation is needed to find out whether they have compromised the safety of their products to increase production, thereby putting gas consumers at risk.

It is hoped that gas companies will continue to be monitored under a microscope for the public good, and steps will be taken to ensure that they meet their production targets without compromising safety.

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Danger to democracy

The much delayed Provincial Council (PC) elections are not expected to take place in the foreseeable future. The chairman of the select parliamentary committee on electoral reform, Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, said new laws will need to be passed for the PC elections to be conducted, and the PC elections (amendment) law of 2017 should be passed. be deleted for this purpose. The law in question was not made correctly by the yahapalana government, he said, accusing the JVP, TNA, etc., of supporting him.

The country has been without elected PCs for years, and much of the funds that would otherwise have been spent to maintain over 400 provincial councilors, who are a huge burden on the public, have been saved. This is why the postponement of the PC elections has not become a political issue as such. However, the need for new laws and the abolition of the aforementioned amendment law is not what prevents the government from conducting the CP elections.

The government was quick to introduce the 20th Constitution Amendment to restore the executive powers of the president. He gathered 157 votes for the 2022 budget and proved once again that he has a two-thirds majority in parliament. Thus, introducing new laws to organize PC elections should be a piece of cake for the government.

The reason the government does not seriously attempt to conduct the PC polls is its fear of elections. Her performance has been catastrophic on almost every front, and the only accomplishment she can flaunt is the nationwide immunization campaign, which is a huge success and must be appreciated. But man does not live by vaccines alone, and public resentment, resulting from the high cost of living, the numerous shortages and the vulgar display of opulence of rulers and those close to them, is palpable. An election race is the last thing the government needs at this point. He also announced his decision to postpone the local elections for one year.

A government that fears elections is a danger to democracy.

About Mallory Brown

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