UPA (Utanian Press Agency)
Release: May 1, 301 AP.

President moves to buy food aid for Dignania

President Okarvits has given an executive order, being reviewed by the Parliament now, to buy four million tonnes of grain from Belson corporation for a paltry Û120 million (C40 million) for "donation" to "worthy cases of need" worldwide.

The Executive Order is being put to the Parliamentary Agricultural special committee for rapid evaluation, with a decision expected early next week, and expected to approve the sale. The international export price of wheat grain is normally C200 per tonne, which makes the sale for Û30 per tonne about one twentieth the normal price.

President Okarvits' Agriculture Minister, Amea Obotay MP, said that the Û180 million was only to "cover the costs of the Belson corporation", a claim the Belson Corporation supports, saying it will lose Û50 million "at least" in the sale. However, even at the reduced rate, many Utani Saedaj MPs are unhappy.

"Belson Corporation is the reason so many of our people are living in poverty", claims Joh'nn Apasye MP, leader of the Rural Reform faction of the Utani Saedaj Party, the second-lead party in the government coalition. "Why are these same poor people's taxes being used to prop up the Belson Corporation?"

President Okarvits said the grain was "important" and the money would "only cover costs". The four million tonnes of grain could feed an estimated 22 million people for a year (500g grain per person.day is a minimum), and would be provided to "worthy centres of desperate need worldwide". One such centre of need is Dignania, where years of warfare have severely damaged the two new countries' ability to feed themselves.

Dignania will not be the only recipient, says the President, but will certainly be a "significant" one. <tech> If anyone can propose some others... </tech>

©UPA, 301 AP.

©Mike Ham, 2001. All rights reserved. No reproduction without, at least, tacit approval. ;-)