President Gotabhaya Rajapaksa emphasizes that Governors and District Secretaries should take the lead in the regional development programs.
It is the intention of the Government to expedite the provision of benefits of development to the rural population and this program could not be delayed at all, the President said emphasizing that the responsibility of supervising and overseeing all development activities would be vested in the Governors and District Secretaries.
The President gave these instructions at a meeting with Governors and District Secretaries at the Presidential Secretariat this morning (24).
“Although provisions have been made for some projects, they have not been implemented yet while some other projects are stalled. The government is paying high interest rates on loans taken for this purpose. The people who are watching this are blaming the government as well as the officials,” the President said.
. President Rajapaksa said that development proposals should be expedited, realizing the needs of the people and what the people expect from the government.
The President instructed to immediately commence all projects which have been funded but not implemented and the projects that have been suspended.
“Laws should not be made in such a way that the entire population suffers because of the fault of one or more individuals. In order to make the necessary laws to catch fraudsters and crooks, the officials should go to the village and identify the real problems of the people,” President Rajapaksa said.
He added that the innocent people who live a just life are seen as thieves by the officials who do not go to the villages. He emphasized the importance of acting in line with government policy and not limited by circulars, in meeting the needs of the people..
When a public issue is raised, officials should not try to cover it up with another issue. He said that when people’s issues were raised, they should not be ignored on the basis of agenda alone. People’s issues should not be allowed to pass from generation to generation, the President stressed.
President Rajapaksa said the government plans all development activities for the benefit of the people and has given priority to the responsibility of sustaining the people in all spheres, including environmental development.
Land use in rural areas is irregular. It is important to educate the villagers about this and guide them to use their home gardens for agriculture. Expansion of community afforestation projects can solve many environmental problems and the President instructed the officials to refer to that.
The district secretaries stated that the environmental destruction that some people and the media are depicting is not happening at the district level but only a media show.
The President said he expects to meet with Governors and District Secretaries every month to discuss the progress of rural development projects and issues that may arise.
Secretary to the President PB Jayasundera and Chief Adviser to the President Lalith Weeratunga were also present.