“Govt. marches forward to bring maximum benefits to the nation”: President

Friday, 5 December 2014 00:35 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Opposition has entered into various agreements with many parties but the Government marches forward as usual to bring the maximum benefit to the nation, the President said after declaring open the newly-constructed weekly fair complex in Embilipitiya on Wednesday. He urged the people to rally round him and the Government to assist the ongoing progressive march of the country to prosperity. The complex is the largest fair in the country constructed so far. The complex facilitates over 1,000 vendors at a time. President Rajapaksa said there is no doubt that the patriotic people will elect him as the President again and therefore he will be the President of the country, who can take the country forward. “The country, which underwent immense hardship for three decades owing to terrorism, is being developed for not only the present generation but also for the future generation,” he said. “We all are duty-bound to create a better future for both you and the future generation. We must all go hand-in-hand to reach this goal,” the President said. President Rajapaksa said the people asked him nothing but to liberate the country from the clutches of terrorism in 2005 to live peacefully and happily without any fear of death. “I heeded their request and as promised, the country was freed and united within four years, allowing everyone to live happily,” the President added. The unemployment rate was high and the economy of the country was also bad. The Government took immediate measures to strengthen the economy while bringing down the unemployment rate drastically, he said. The Government invested millions on development activities. Power plants such as Norochcholai and Ihala Kotmale, an international harbour and an airport and highways were constructed and many more development activities have been undertaken, the President said. He added that the Power and Energy Minister has been instructed to provide every household with electricity by the end of December. He said all ministers are duty-bound to take their ministries forward. “It is strange when the former Health Minister says that an Act had been misplaced. Was that the only copy of that Act? As far as I know, separate copies of any Act are with the Secretary, Legal Officer and high rankers of that particular ministry,” the President noted. President Rajapaksa said the Government allocates a minimum of Rs. 600 million to every electorate at every Budget, even though it allocated Rs. 1,000 million to the Polonnaruwa electorate. “The Government allocated Rs. 150 million only for Royal College, Polonnaruwa.” Speaking on agriculture sector development initiatives, the President said the Government allocates millions of rupees to farmers. “Farmers receive the fertiliser subsidy and guaranteed prices for many crops including agricultural assistance,” he added.   Gotabaya sees good governance The Government says the electronic National Identity Card (e-NIC) is a vital step to thwart illegitimate practices and is also a sign of the existence of good governance in the country. Defence Secretary Gotabaya Rajapaksa said that the elimination of terrorism and introduction of sustainable methodologies to perform institutional duties has augmented good governance in the country. He said this at a function at the Folk Arts Centre premises at Sri Jayewardenepura Kotte yesterday, where over 827 field officers from various districts - who are engaged in the process of registering people under the recently-introduced ‘e-National Identity Card’ system - were awarded letters of appreciation in recognition of their dedicated service. Recalling the unfavourable situation present in Colombo a few years back, the Defence Secretary reminded those present of the plight of many Government institutions including the Department of Registration of Persons, which had been given high security while barricading the premises with high parapet walls and barbed wire fences. But today, he said, the situation has changed drastically. The new ID, comprising security features against tampering, counterfeiting and forging, would include the person’s photograph, biometric authentication, bio data, fingerprints and blood group. In an event of a natural disaster, this new e-NIC would be more practical. Compiling data for this new ID, which consists of a photograph and family details, conforming to international standards, are now underway with the support of these field officials. A progress review session presided over by the Commissioner General was also conducted during the day. (Colombo Gazette)