Puraneguma Project to develop 22 govt. agencies in four districts: Basil

Wednesday, 23 July 2014 00:32 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa stated that 22 local government agencies in the districts of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Puttalam and Monaragala have been selected for development under Pura Neguma Project. A sum of 86 million US dollars will be spent for this purpose, out of which 50 million US dollars will be made available though the World Bank as a loan from International Development Agency, while 18.8 million US dollars will be a grant from the Australian Government, with the balance met by the Government of Sri Lanka. The Minister stated that the Government of Australia has decided to provide financial support for the said 22 local government agencies, taking into consideration the overall success of the Puraneguma Project implemented in Northern and Eastern provinces. This was stated by the minister at the occasion of distributing Australian Aid among the 22 local government agencies at the rate of Rs. 50 million each, held in the Ministry of Economic Development. The Puraneguma Project implemented by the Ministry of Economic Development was earlier known as Northern and Eastern Local Government Service Improvement Project. Financial provision is being made available under this project, since 2010, by the Ministry of Economic Development for 79 local government agencies in Jaffna, Kilinochci, Mullativu, Vavuniya and Mannar districts in the Northern Province and Ampara, Batticaloa and Trincomalee districts in the Eastern Province. The main objective of this project is to render better and more efficient local government service to the people through capacity development of the agencies by strengthening administration in order to co-ordinate pradeshiyasabhas at rural level. He stated that 188 local government agencies have already been developed under the Ministry of Local Government and the balance 22 agencies have now been selected for development under several components. The minister continued, “We intend investing funds under several components. One is development of infrastructure facilities under which development of rural bridges, drainage systems, small bridges and culverts, commercial centres, weekly fairs, solid waste management, rural hydro-electricity schemes, public parks will be taken up. Other is to ensure accountability of the agencies. The objective thereof is to ensure transparency of expenditure and services in local government agencies, with special attention on capacity building. Skill development in those agencies as well as strengthening supervision capacity of the agencies at provincial and national level will be carried out. Evaluation and assessments will be carried out as well. Nine local government agencies from Anuradhapura district, three agencies each from Polonnaruwa and Monaragala districts and seven agencies from Puttalam district have been selected for this exercise.” Ministers S.M. Chandrasena and Sumedha Jayasena, Chief Minister of North Western Province Dayasiri Jayasekera, District Secretaries of Anuradhapura, Polonnaruwa, Puttalama and Moneragala, Australian Ambassador, World Bank Representatives and heads of local government agencies were among the large gathering on this occasion.