By Chamodi Gunawardana
As Local Government elections inch closer, the Government has already spent approximately Rs. 14 billion on all Grama Niladari divisions to complete pending development projects that were started by the previous administration, Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development Minister Mahinda Amaraweera said yesterday.
Speaking at the Sri Lanka Freedom Party (SLFP) weekly briefing, Amaraweera said the Government had allocated Rs. 1 million to each Grama Niladari Division to continue the development of roads and other infrastructure facilities.
“Some opposition parties say the development which was carried out by the Rajapaksa regime has been halted due to the change of power but now the Unity Government has restarted the process to finish those projects,” he said.
Amaraweera also said the Government has already restarted the road development projects in each electorate.
“In addition to allocating funds to complete the incomplete road development projects, the Government has implemented new road construction in every electorate,” he said.
Amaraweera added that the Government could pledge to continue the next steps of the development projects implemented by the Rajapaksa regime including the Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport (MRIA), the Hambantota Port, the Southern Expressway and railway construction projects leading towards Beliatta in the future.
Commenting on the prevailing drought, Amaraweera said that while assisting the people by providing drinking water, the Agriculture Ministry had decided to use this chance to clean the tanks in those areas.
“We could use this time for positive purposes and we are planning to provide facilities to Pradeshiya Sabas to clean all the tanks to increase their capacity. It will help us to face the next dry season,” he said.
Special Assignments Minister Dr. Sarath Amunugama told reporters about the US Millennium Challenge Corporation’s (MCC) assistance towards Sri Lanka and said that would help the Government to implement more major development projects.
“Under the Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga regime, the MCC was to provide aid to us but the chance was missed due to certain reasons. The best point is the MCC is going to give the aid without conditions,” he said.
Amunugama further said that the MCC assistance was given in appreciation of the stable democracy and good governance of the country.