Accelerated development program for Hambantota and Moneragala | Page 2 | Sunday Observer

Accelerated development program for Hambantota and Moneragala

The ‘Enterprise Sri Lanka’ program in Moneragala comprised 625 stalls. Here visitors at the exhibition

The government through the ‘Enterprise Sri Lanka’ and the ‘Gamperaliya’ village revolutionising program has commenced an accelerated development drive for Hambantota and Moneragala districts which the former president Mahinda Rajapaksa never even thought of doing during his 10-year tenure as president, Finance and Mass Media Minister Mangala Samaraweera told journalists at a media briefing at the Ministry last week.

Speaking on the ‘Enterprise Sri Lanka’ program held in Moneragala last week, the Minister said the Government has allocated over Rs. 600 million for the development of the district and added that the three-day program in the district was a resounding success attracting over 600,000 visitors from all areas of the country.

“The district wouldn’t have been in such a sordid state needing 25,000 toilets, 33% Samudhi beneficiaries, 1,680 cadjan thatched houses, 333 schools without basic sanitary facilities and 23 un-renovated lakes if Mahinda Rajapaksa had invested at least 1% of the staggering Rs. 240 billion spent on Hambantota which are mere white elephants today,” Samaraweera said.

The Minister further said Rs. 35 billion was spent on the Mattala airport, Rs. 4 billion on the Sooriyawewa cricket stadium and several billions on the Hambantota port. If a fraction of that was invested on the Hambantota district it would have been a prosperous place today. According to the Minister, Rs. 500 million has been allocated to provide 25,000 toilets, permanent roofs for 978 houses and renovation of eight tanks in the Moneragala district.

The ‘Enterprise Sri Lanka’ program in Moneragala comprised 625 stalls, offering relief programs for small and medium sector entrepreneurs, advisory services on writing project proposals, submitting applications for loans, opening and registering businesses, proper use of funds, maintenance of accounts and linking local businesses with overseas businesses for exports.

“Green parks, recreational and spiritual programs at every Grama Sevaka Division will be set up to promote a clean environment, spiritual and physical well being of people village,;’ the Minister said.

The ‘Enterprise Sri Lanka’ program will be held in Kurunegala in early December, in Anuradhapura in February and in Jaffna in May next year.

The program launched last month to provide interest free loan schemes such as Aswenna, Govi Navodaya and Riyashankthi is aimed at creating 100,000 entrepreneurs by 2020. The Government has allocated Rs. 60 billion to be disbursed through state and private banks to potential entrepreneurs.

According to State Minister of Finance the country has only around 2,30,000 entrepreneurs which is far less than the total work force of Vietnam 19%, Malaysia 27% and Bangladesh 11%.

The Gamperaliya program which is held parallel with Enterprise Sri Lanka has been held in Kurunegala, Mannar and the Vavuniya districts.