President Maithripala Sirisena says 2017 will be declared as the year of eliminating poverty. He said he would present the proposal to the Cabinet in this regard.
The President was speaking at the progress review meeting of the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment, held today (Aug. 29) at the Presidential Secretariat.
“This goal will be achieved through a comprehensive program which connects the public sector, private sector as well as all non governmental institutions”, the President said.
“Though the Samurdhi Movement and the Divi Neguma program are the prominent ones when we speak about poverty eradication, there are large number of families which are not getting those benefits and continue to suffer from poverty”, he added.
He further stated that the government will fulfill its responsibilities for the welfare of those who are in lower ranks in the public and private sectors, and faced with severe economic difficulties. “The government will work in accordance with the state policy in this regard”, he said.
He pointed out that the development of this country is still linked to the political characters. “The injustice is immense during the development in the last era due to not recognizing the priorities of the national development”, he said.
The President expressed his confidence about the ability to provide a fair and balanced development through this program initiated in 2017 by developing all 25 administrative districts of the country.
The Government of good governance established in 2015 committed to ensure the democracy, freedom and fundamental rights in the country, the President said. He recalled that the government gave priority in 2016 to increase the local and foreign investments paving the way to acquire massive development projects to the country.
During the last few months we heard sweet, bitter, good and bad monotonous speeches at the political stages as well as in the media, but never paid the attention regarding the responsibility of uplifting the economy of the people while liberating the country from poverty, the President said. He also said that all must unite to fulfill that responsibility in an efficient and proper manner.
President Sirisena pointed out the importance of reviewing the financial and physical progress of budget funds allocated for the year 2016 and further said that the relevant officials should be responsible if they send back these funds to the Treasury without being used properly.
The progress of the institutions under the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment was discussed in detail at this meeting and regarding the construction works of the Dam Safety Project, Uma Oya Development Project, Moragahakanda — Kalu Ganga Development Project as well as regarding the actions of the Mahaweli Authority were also discussed in detail.
The President said even though the Government took many policy decisions to ban the use of polythene those decisions are not being implemented properly and the attention of all the relevant sections should be drawn to properly implement those decisions in the future.
Mahaweli Development and Environment Ministry Secretary Udaya R Senevirathne and Senior officials of the institutions under the Ministry of Mahaweli Development and Environment participated in this discussion.