The Cabinet of Ministers has given its nod to allocate Rs.28.04 billion for a brand-new rural development programme named ‘Sapiri Gamak’, which is to be implemented from next January, covering all 14,021 Grama Niladhari (GS) divisions in the country.
Prime Minister and Finance, Economy and Policy Development Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa had forwarded the proposal to the Cabinet of Ministers for their approval.
The programme is a vital part of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s National Policy Framework titled ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’.
The objective of the programme was to promote employment and livelihood opportunities in the rural economy by uplifting rural infrastructure and other facilities with allocation of Rs.2 million per each GS division for 2020.
The government has identified nine priority areas for projects, which include infrastructure development activities such as roads, anicuts and culverts. Also projects aimed at supporting the agriculture sector, including enhancing production storage facilities, restoring rural economic centres such as weekly fairs, have been given priority.
Further, special consideration would be given to projects which could generate self-employment opportunities for youth and female segments in the society while enhancing their income levels.
The government has set the minimum budget for a project at Rs.0.5 million and maximum
at Rs.2 million. Committees consisting of villagers and local politicians will be formed before 27th of this month in each GS division with participation of state officials. Each committee is tasked with identifying projects and overseeing the implementation of those projects.
Divisional Secretariats are expected to appoint Development Officers in each GS division as the conveyor of committees.
As per the instruction of the Finance, Economy and Policy Development Ministry, the committees are required to submit proposed projects for the approval of District Secretariats before December 31.
All the projects are required to be concluded before November 30, 2020 and District and Divisional Secretariats will be responsible in meeting the deadline.
District Secretariats have been instructed to submit reports on progress of the programme to the Finance, Economy and Policy Development Ministry on the 10th day of every month.