NO MENTION OF PROGRESS MADE IN IMPLEMENTING VISION 2016 IN THE BUDGET SPEECH

The most important declaration made by the Government in recent years is the promise to ensure self sufficiency in rice production by 2016.

We had looked at the statistics and told the Nation that we imported 140,000 tonnes of rice in 2014 while we produced only 46,000 tonnes. We observed that the estimated consumption need for the country is 200,000 tonnes. We argued that over 150,000 tonnes would have to be added to the current production in two years to achieve the goal of self sufficiency in rice production.

This is why we argued that Vision 2016 was an unrealistic dream.

No wonder the Minister of Finance did not even bother to give a progress report on Vision 2016 in his budget speech.

One could however read in between the lines to know the reality. He said 57,087 tonnes of rice  was produced in 2015.

This is why the government had to abandon its plan to stop the importation of rice. Realistic plans are based on facts and not mere wishes.