Development funds should be fully utilized - Minister Rajitha
Money allocated by the government for development projects should be
spent for the relevant development programmes entirely. Not utilizing
the full allocation for development programmes is unfair and cannot be
condoned, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Dr.
Rajitha Senaratne said.
Minister Dr. Rajitha Senaratne at the
ceremony to inaugurate the construction work of the
"In 2007, International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD)
allocated Rs 53.5 million for the development of the fisheries sector.
But the fisheries sector authorities spent only Rs 2.2 million. They
allocated Rs 84.6 million for the fisheries sector in 2008 but fishermen
received only Rs 19.8 million. This is an uncalled for situation which
fishermen have to face," he added.
The minister was addressing the foundation stone laying ceremony of
the Aluthgama market. The Post-Tsunami Coastal Rehabilitation Programme
which comes under the purview of the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
Development Ministry received Rs 9.8 million from IFAD for the
construction of this project.
This market complex will consist of 36 permanent stalls, 70 open
stalls, canteen, car park, five fish and meat stalls. All other
infrastructure facilities too will be provided. Construction of this
market is to be completed in four months.
"If we do not take the benefits from the funds which are received
through donations, they will be slashed and go to foreign projects. It
is an unacceptable situation and we should know how to spend these funds
on development programmes in a more profitable manner," the minister
He said: "We received Rs 28.6 million in 2010 and we spent Rs 25.7
million for a number of development projects. As a result in 2011 we
received Rs 42 million from IFAD. We already spent Rs 20 million out of
that total amount," Minister Senaratne explained.
Western Provincial Council Member Piyal Nishantha, Beruwela
Pradeshiya Sabha chairman Prasanna Sanjeewa, IFAD project national
coordinator D. Prathapasinghe and IFAD Kalutara district Manager Neel
Munasinghe also participated.