The ‘Gamperaliya’ program has been allocated over Rs. 37 billion across the entire 25 districts of the country to support rural village economies in Sri Lanka.
The National Policies, Economic Affairs, Resettlement and Rehabilitation, Northern Province Development and Youth Affairs Ministry releasing a statement on Friday said it was launched under the guidance of Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe, with the goal of reawakening the economy of the rural villages by transforming the villages as economic hub and to subsequently develop the national economy.
Focus areas for rural development has been identified in a holistic basis namely establishment of links between rural and urban areas and market centres through rural roads, development of agriculture sector through renovation of tanks and anicuts; bridges and creating connectivity; improving the education sector in the rural economy by supporting water supply and essential sanitation facilities to schools; construction of playgrounds and physical culture infrastructure facilities related to education sector; establishing spiritual development for villages through rehabilitation of religious places of worship; establishing rural markets known as ‘Sathipola’; and other related infrastructure facilities are some of the 12 focus areas covered under this program, said Ministry Secretary V. Sivagnanasothy.
As per the Central Bank of Sri Lanka (CBSL) Annual Report for 2018, the Western Province has contributed 37.2% to the GDP whereas the other Provinces that contributed the least to the GDP were namely, Northern Province with 4.5%, Eastern Province with 5.7%, North-Central with 5.6%, and Uva Province with 7.9% respectively.
The existing lacuna among the provinces contribution portrays the inequality in contribution made to the GDP by these Provinces. It is also noted that the provinces contributed the least to the GDP had also recorded high Poverty Incidence Headcount Index in year 2017. Hence, in order to economically strengthen, socially empower and revive the rural economy, every electorate has been allocated Rs. 300 m each which captures all 160 electorates island-wide with a total budget estimation of Rs. 48 b in 2019.
As of 24 May, all 25 districts have been allocated Rs. 37,565.2 m by the Ministry under this program. Allocation approved is as follows; Colombo District Rs. 3,363.2 m, Kandy District Rs. 3,058.2 m, Kurunegala District Rs. 3,049.4 m, Gampaha District Rs. 2,870 m, Galle District Rs. 2,252.1 m, Jaffna District Rs. 2,224.8 n, Badulla District Rs. 1,987.2 m, Ratnapura District Rs. 1,937.5 m, Kalutara District Rs. 1,732.4 m, Kegalle District Rs. 1,719.2 m, Anuradhapura Rs. 1,586.6 m, Ampara District Rs. 1,531.1 m, Nuwara-Eliya District Rs. 1,516.4 m, Matara District Rs. 1,509.8 m, Trincomalee District Rs. 1,122.3 m, Puttalam District Rs. 1,048.8 m, Batticaloa District Rs. 955.4 m, Hambantota District Rs. 799.8 m, Matale District Rs. 806.7 m, Monaragala District Rs. 698.3 m, Polonnaruwa District Rs. 617.4 m, Mannar District Rs. 425.4 m, Mullaitivu District Rs. 283.7 m, Vavuniya District Rs. 268.6 m, and Kilinochchi District Rs. 199.6 m respectively.
Further, a total of Rs. 3,402 m has been allocated for the most deprived Northern Province Districts including Jaffna, Kilinochchi, Mullaitivu, Vavuniya, and Mannar which focuses mainly on rehabilitation of rural roads, tanks and anicuts, and rehabilitation of places of religious worship, etc. said Sivagnanasothy.
The expeditious implementation of the programs is actively undertaken and the respective districts that have submitted proposals have received the necessary allocations and the balance allocation will be made based on the submission of the proposals.
The ‘Gamperaliya’ program which covers all districts islandwide should be implemented early with the ultimate aim of eliminating poverty among the rural communities whilst improving the living standards of the poverty-stricken community to ensure accelerated the economic growth of the country as a whole.