‘Only hype, no real benefits for Matara under former regime’ | Daily News

‘Only hype, no real benefits for Matara under former regime’

Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the  inauguration of the Hakmana road-widening project.  Picture by Gandara Group Corr.
Finance Minister Mangala Samaraweera at the inauguration of the Hakmana road-widening project. Picture by Gandara Group Corr.

The government has undertaken tangible development work throughout the country in contrast to the previous regime’s hype about development which failed to bring meaningful dividends to the country and its people, Finance Minister Mangalaa Samraweera said.

The Minister was speaking at the launch of a series of development projects in Matara recently. They included the road-widening project in Hakmana, new bridge project in Pigeon Island, and Kotuwegoda beach park development project.

Minister Samraweera said the previous government which boasted about development had failed to widen the Hakmana road for the last 10 years, during its administration.

He said at this juncture, people should rally round the government and support its development programme, putting aside party and other petty differences. He was happy to announce that he had provided jobs for a new batch of more than 5,000 people in Matara within this short period.

Matara had two other Ministers and he hoped to provide more jobs and carry forward development work in Matara with their able support and assistance.

Minister Samaraweera said the former regime had woefully failed to provide even 1,000 jobs to people in Matara during its tenure. During that time, jobs were normally offered for payment. This government had changed that system. It implemented the Enterprise Sri Lanka loan scheme to enable people who could not find government jobs to open self-employment schemes. Under this scheme, the major part of interest on loans was borne by the government to help people with skills and business acumen to start their own businesses. A graduate out of university was offered an interest-free loan of Rs. 1.5 million to launch a small business venture, and a woman starting a business of her own would be offered a further 10 percent relief on loan interest. Already 20,000 small enterprise projects launched in Matara were progressing successfully.

This is a period of genuine work rather than gullible talk, the Minister said.

Phase Four of the Matara Water Supply Project for which the National Water Supply and Drainage Board had spent colossal funds, exceeding the amount spent on the Mahaweli Development scheme, was now progressing smoothly. Once complete, it would provide water supply even to the former President’s Beliatta seat.

Members of the Maha Sangha and several former Provincial Council members and local council representatives attended the meeting.


 

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