President Maithripala Srisena urged all stakeholders to support the Gramashakthi People’s Movement without any political difference to achieve the goal of eradicating poverty. He made this appeal at the Provincial Steering Committee Meeting on the ‘Gramashakthi’ programme in Badulla yesterday (May 21).
The President will be directly progress review meetings of the Gramashakthi People’s Movement, which was launched last year.
At this meeting attended by political representatives and public officials, the President focused on the issues faced by the people of Uva province.
After listening to the problems, the President instructed the officials to take action to solve some of those issues immediately and look into the other issues.
President Sirisena instructed them to make necessary arrangements under Gramashakthi to reopen a bag manufacturing factory in Koskanuwela in Passara, which has been closed down. The attention was also drawn towards issues pertaining to agricultural development in Monaragala district.
The President also instructed the officials to take urgent welfare steps for the flood affected people. He said that the areas affected by drought for a long period has received a sufficient amount of rain water after a gap of 5 years and it is essential to manage water supplies in order to ensure the success of the next cultivation season.
He said that the country could develop the economy only through the development of agriculture and urged the politicians of all the parties to extend cooperation to implement the Gramashakthiprogramme aimed at achieving village empowerment and economic progress of the country.
A Memorandum of Understanding was signed between the Flower Growers’ Association of the Uva province and Hayley’s Company ensuring that the company will constantly purchase flowers from the growers at a steady price and that the company will provide the farmers with modern technology and equipment to increase the quality of flowers. The farmer association of ornamental flowers produce flowers of high quality for local and international markets with the assistance of Hayley’s Company in Welimada, Uvaparanagama, and Haputhale Divisional Secretariats in the Badulla District.
The first instalment of the state’s share for the implementation of Gramashakthi movement in Badualla (22.5 million rupees) and Monaragala (16.5 million rupees) Districts was also handed over to the respective District Secretaries at this progress review.
Gramashakthi, which is a concept of Hon. President Maithripala Sirisena, is one of the key initiatives implemented to eradicated poverty. Instead of being a programme that brought people and the state together in the attempt to eradicate poverty as in most programmes implemented hitherto, Gramashakthi People’s Movement brings together people, public and private sectors as essential stakeholders of poverty eradication. The aim is to ensure that the produce of the people constantly get a better price, and access new markets while bringing in new technology. The movement helps people to get organized into people’s companies in order for them to negotiate with large private sector organizations on equal terms.
Gramashakthi is implemented island-wide while districts with higher incidence of poverty are prioritized. The movement will cover 1000 villages in its first phase and scale up to 5000 villages by the year 2020.
Today’s progress review meeting was attended by Ministers Nimal Siripala de Silva, Harin Fernando, and Parliamentarian Dilan Perera, Chief Minister of Uva, Sampath Dassanayake, and other members of the Provincial Council and Local Authorities as well as public officers of the province.