Sri Lanka to transport vegetables, fruits in plastic crates despite protest

Updated: 2011-12-13 19:04:00

(Xinhua)

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COLOMBO, December 13 (Xinhua) -- The Sri Lankan government is to continue with the new law to make compulsory transporting vegetables and fruits in plastic crates despite vendors' agitation by destroying vegetables in public roads.

Co-operatives and Internal Trade Minister Johnston Fernando told media Tuesday that the new rule will not be reversed at any cost.

The country's premier vegetable and fruit wholesale market in Colombo, Manning Market, went on a protest against the new rule on Tuesday morning.

It was following the demonstrations in the outstation vegetable collection centers on Monday where traders and farmers blocked the main roads and destroyed vegetables on roads in protest of the new law.

Due to the agitation by the traders and vendors, the markets were without fresh supplies creating a severe shortage of vegetables and fruits.

Consumers have feared that the vegetable and fruits prices would go up specially during the festive week during Christmas.

Meanwhile Chairman of the Consumer Affairs Authority Rumy Marzook told Xinhua that four more lorries were apprehended in addition to 40 lorries arrested on Monday, which did not follow the new regulation.

The Co-operatives and Internal Trade Ministry said Sri Lanka loses more than 175 million U.S. dollars per year due to improper packing methods used in transportation.