The government would increase financial allocations to each constituency by another Rs.100 million soon bringing the total investment to Rs. 400 million in an electorate to accelerate the growth in the country and improve the family income in the rural sector, in particular, Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera said.
Encouraged by the amount of development work carried out by the government with an allocation of Rs. 300 million for a constituency in the last four years under the highly ambitious Gamperaliya programme, the government has decided to pump in an additional Rs. 100 million for each electorate to further strengthen the rural economy, productivity and infrastructure, he added.
Minister Samaraweera addressing the media at his ministry today said the Gamperaliya Programme has been able to create a major impact on the renovation, refurbishment and development of the rural infrastructure from Point Pedro to Dondra point and from Batticaloa to Colombo.
Reconstruction and refurbishment of tanks, culverts, bridges, roads, water supply projects etc. that had been neglected for several decades is not an easy task.
Under ‘Gamperaliya,’ we have renovated 1,340 tanks in the periphery at a cost of Rs, 1,328, 38,333 roads and culverts at a coast of Rs. 2.9 billion, built afresh or reconstructed toilet facilities at 1,463 rural schools, 2,909 playgrounds and parks at a cost of Rs. 2.3 billion, given power supplies to 9,837 houses that did have the capacity to afford Rs. 40,000 to get power connections at Rs. 3.2 billion, Minister Samaraweera noted.
“We have renovated 10,343 temples, mosques, kovils and churches at a cost of Rs. 52 billion which come into much criticism by the joint opposition and Bhikkus in politics. This is what they cannot stand and say the government has wasted billions of rupees of the ‘Central Cultural Fund’. We did this in good faith to help low-income places of religious importance. I know, those Bhikkus who travel in Benz cars don’t want the government help. But they must not get envious when we help poor temples, mosques, kovils and churches. It is simply malicious because they try to gain political mileage using this meritorious act,” Minister Samaraweera said. (Sandun A Jayasekera)