President Maithripala Sirisena this week instructed officials to provide an allowance of Rs. 10,000 per month to all agricultural families affected by the prevailing drought conditions, starting next month.
The President further instructed to appoint a Committee comprising District Secretaries, Grama Niladharis and Samurdhi Officials to collect comprehensive information on affected families to disburse money to beneficiaries from the beginning of the Yala season.
Sirisena issued these instructions during a meeting with the relevant Heads of Departments to review the effects of the drought on the farming sector in the country.
Highlighting that a large number of complaints have been received from the public regarding the land reclamation, the President said officials should take prompt action in this regard and emphasised that those who cannot fulfil their duties should resign from their respective posts.
Preparations have been made to provide rice subsidy to the drought affected families in the near future, the President said, requesting government officials to carry out their duties to distribute this rice subsidy equally and in a systematic manner paying attention to detail and accurate statistics.
The President added that it is essential to pay attention to quality standards when providing water for drinking purposes. He instructed the officials to use buses to transport people when they travel to distant locations for bathing purposes. The President also instructed the officials to set up emergency power generating machines in areas like Pallekele, Hambantota, Kurunegala and Galle as an alternative to the impending power crisis and pointed out the importance of educating the public through the media and the internet on economical electricity consumption. The President said that the Treasury will provide the necessary financing for the continuous supply of electricity.
Attention has been drawn to repair tube wells in rural areas, development of the agricultural wells, and the growing of paddy seeds in abandoned paddy fields in the wet zone with the assistance of the local government authorities. Ministers Anura Priyadarshana Yapa, Rajitha Senaratne, Ravi Karunanayake, Ranjith Siyabalapitiya, Duminda Disanayake, Faizer Mustapha, Ministry Secretaries including Secretary to the President, P.B. Abeykoon and heads of other sections also took part in the discussion.