- Published on Monday, 27 August 2012 11:08
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The government has allocated Rs.3,000 million for the granting of Samurdhi allowance through the current Budget and there is no reduction in this amount as alleged by certain Opposition members.
This was stated by the Deputy Minister of Economic Development Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena. He said that Basil Rajapaksa recently presented in Parliament the Bill to set up a new Department for Divi Neguma Development with the aim of alleviating poverty and uplifting the livelihoods in the rural areas. He said that the new department is to be established by amalgamating the Samurdhi Authority, the Southern Development Authority and the Udarata Development Authority, as approved by the Cabinet. .
He said that the Economic Development Ministry has made arrangements to promote micro-financial services for Divi Neguma beneficiaries, and this would help encourage the savings habit among beneficiaries, to develop the investment potential which in turn would provide credit facilities to the beneficiaries.
Yapa said that Divi Neguma Community Based Organizations will be set up in villages to provide a coordinating network at district and national level. The proposed Department for Divi Neguma development will be the authority to supervise, monitor, control and manage Divi Neguma community based organizations.. He said that all officials in the authorities, including over 26,000 Samurdhi officers will be absorbed into the new Department and they would be eligible for pensions as well.
The Deputy Minister further said that all arrangements are in place to grant 16,000 jobs to graduate in the Economic Development Ministry. They will be deployed in village level activities under this new “Divi Neguma” Department.(niz)