Jan 15, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has decided to implement a national program to provide essential food items at concessionary rates to low income families.
The President’s Media Division said under the program, all beneficiaries will be provided a special electronic card to purchase food items.
Samurdhi beneficiaries, individuals without permanent employment, plantation workers, disabled persons and adults of families without a source of income, widows and those suffering from serious illnesses will receive this benefit. The program is aimed at ensuring their food security.
Essential consumer goods including sugar, tea, rice, flour, dhal, grams, onions, chilies, potatoes, and milk powder are expected to be offered at concessionary rates.
The items can be obtained from Lanka Sathosa outlets, Co-operative Trading Network and selected franchised outlets in rural areas.
It is also expected to provide facilities for selected rural outlets with fewer facilities to purchase refrigerators and other equipment under concessionary terms.
The focus will be on setting up of such shops to cover densely populated areas, low-income housing complexes, rural areas and the plantation sector.
The project will give priority to local manufacturers and facilitate them to provide their packed food, spices, meat, eggs and other household needs directly to the concerned businessmen without intermediaries.
The President also hopes to offer female entrepreneurs Priority when choosing authorized sales outlets and uplift the small businesses and producers.
The President’s Media Division said in parallel to the program, 150,000 housing units in rural areas will be provided drinking water while 100,000 kilometers of rural roads will be developed.
The President has also decided to distribute 100,000 parcels of land to Individuals identified as poor and low income on a 30 year lease basis for agriculture, business development and housing projects in coordination with the Land Ministry, Land Reforms Commission and Bim Saviya program.