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Steps taken to increase the production of food grains and of fodder:
The Honourable Raja Yuveraj Dutta Singh: Will government state what steps they have taken, or propose to take, to launch a vigorous drive to persuade the cultivators to grow more food grains and fodder crops, and to secure self-sufficiency in respect of foodstuffs as between different areas as a safeguard against any possible interruption in the transport system due to war situation?
The Honourable Mr. J.D Tyson: The attention of the Honourable member is invited to the press note issued on 14th March 1942, announcing that a conference of representatives of provinces and of certain Indian states is being convened at New Delhion the 6th April 1942, to consider the question
The Honourable Mr. Hossain Imam: I will put that question now, Sir. In view of the fact that section 93 regime applies to seven provinces, have government considered the advisability of associating non-official opinion in this conference?
The Honourable Mr. J.D Tyson: Certain non-officials have been invited, Sir. (Council of State. 31/3/1942)
Supply of Foodstuffs to Ceylon
The Honourable Raja Yuveraj Dutta Singh: Will government state whether as a result of visit to India of the Minister of Agriculture, Ceylon, arrangements are being made by the government of India to send out foodstuffs from this country to Ceylon? If, so, how much? Have government taken all possible steps to assure themselves that there will be no shortage of foodstuffs for consumption in India as a result of the war situation?
The Honourable Sir Alan Lloyd: The government of India have agreed to facilitate exports to the extent necessary for the satisfaction of Ceylon’s primary food requirements, subject to the condition that Ceylon cannot expect to be in proportionately better position than India herself, if supplies available in India fall below the full figure of the requirements of the two countries taken together. It is not possible to give exact figures but the government of India are keeping a close watch over the situation and propose to regulate the quantities exported from different areas with due regard to the varying conditions of supply in those areas. Active measures are in hand to ensure the increase of the production of foodstuffs in India.
The Honourable Mr. Hossain Imam: May we know what are the foodstuffs which Ceylon imports from India?
The Honourable Sir Alan Lloyd: Rice is the principle one and also such things as jowar and bajra.
The Honourable Mr. Hossain Imam: Is it a fact that India is on balance an importer, to about 800,000 tons, of rice?
The Honourable Sir Alan Lloyd: I cannot give extract figures but it is a fact that India is on balance an importer of rice.
(Council of State. 31/3/1942)