Give priority to development needs - President | Daily News

Give priority to development needs - President

President Maithripala Sirisena said that eventhough this year (2019) is an election year, he would request all public servants to pay scant regard to it and give priority to identify the country’s development needs and take necessary steps towards achieving them.

“If you say this is an election year and contemplate as to who will be in power and await the outcome of an election, the pace of the country’s economic development will suffer a serious setback,” the President said adding that the country’s pace of development had already shown a setback.

“As such, a dedicated effort should be made this year to strengthen the national economy,” the President added.

President Maithripala Sirisena expressed these sentiments addressing a meeting of the Grama Shakthi Movement’s Western Provincial Steering Committee at the Golden Reach Hotel, Gampaha on February 18.

The President said steps had been taken to offer a helping hand to the poor by declaring a Grama Shakthi Week and it was the duty and responsibility of the political leadership as well as public servants to ensure its benefits to the rural masses. The President who said that poverty alleviation programmes had been implemented by successive governments during the last 50 years added that the Grama Shakthi movement was devised with a new orientation using the past experience gained from them directly targeting poor masses in the rural sector. Although it was termed as Grama Shakthi officials had a responsibility to implement it in identified urban areas as well.

The President who emphasised that in order to achieve the desired development goals, priority should be given to programmes in the agenda discussed with the District Co-ordinating Committees and the Regional Co-ordinating Committees requested officials to assist in implementing such programmes for the benefit of the rural poor. President Sirisena said targets could be best achieved by encouraging the rural poor to show a keen interest towards this programme. Former President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga, Minister John Amaratunge, State Minister Ajith Mannapperuma, Parliamentarians Lasantha Alagiyawanna and Harshana Rajakaruna, Western Province Governor Azath Salley, Western Province Chief Minister Isura Devapriya, former Minister Joseph Michael Perera, Western Province Chief Secretary Pradeep Yasaratne and Gampaha GA Sunil Jayalath were also present on the occasion.


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