Feb 17, Colombo: Sri Lanka's President Maithripala Sirisena has instructed the relevant officials to take necessary measures to provide an allowance of Rs.10,000 per month each for all the drought-affected farming families in the island.
The President further instructed to appoint a Committee comprising District Secretaries, Grama Niladharis and Samurdhi Officials to collect comprehensive information on affected families. The allowance will be given from next month to beginning of the Yala season and after obtaining this information.
He has given these instructions during a meeting held at the President's Officials Residence on Thursday with the relevant Heads of the Departments to review the effects of drought on the farming sector in the country.
Preparations have been made to provide a rice subsidy to the drought affected families in the near future and the President requested the officials to distribute the rice subsidy equally, focusing their attention to accurate statistics.
President Sirisena emphasized that it is essential to pay attention to water quality standards when providing water to the drought affected people for their drinking and other purposes. The President instructed the officials to use buses to transport people when they have to travel far for bathing.
Addressing the land reclamation issue, the President said a large number of complaints have been received from the public and the officials should take prompt actions in this regard. Officials who cannot fulfill their duties in a proper manner should resign from their respective posts, the President stressed.
The President instructed the officials to set up an emergency power generating machines in areas like Pallekele, Hambantota, Kurunegala and Galle as an alternative to the future power crisis and pointed out the importance of educating the public through the media and the internet regarding the economical electricity consumption. The President said the Treasury will be provided the necessary financing for the continuous supply of electricity.
Attention has been drawn to repair tube wells in the rural areas, development of the agricultural wells, growing of paddy seeds in abandoned paddy fields in the wet zones with the assistance of the local government authorities.
Ministers Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Rajitha Senaratne, Ravi Karunanayake, Ranjith Siyambalapitiya, Duminda Dissanayake, Faizer Mustapha, Ministry Secretaries including Secretary to the President, P.B. Abeykoon and other section heads also participated.