(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – The Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa yesterday (25) instructed the Secretaries of State Ministries to meet once a month with the Secretary to the Cabinet of Ministers to discuss the development projects and the problems that exist in their implementation and the expected program.
Accordingly, the Prime Minister emphasized that a progressive program for development activities should be maintained by reviewing the issues raised in the relevant discussions on a quarterly basis.
The Prime Minister gave these instructions at a meeting held at Temple Trees on Monday morning to review the progress of four projects implemented with the assistance of the Department of National Physical Planning and foreign aid and the second quarter progress of three government agencies of the State Ministry of Coast Conservation and Lowland Development.
The Secretary to the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing Sirinimal Perera stated that Rs. 55,452 million has been allocated for the year 2021. He said that as per the instructions of the Prime Minister, the money is expected to be spent on projects before the end of this year. The officials drew the attention of the Prime Minister to the problems that have arisen with regard to essential recruitments in the implementation of certain projects.
The Prime Minister said it is not prohibited to fill vacancies if the respective institutions have income to pay salaries instructed the officials to get the necessary people.
The Prime Minister questioned the officials regarding the fact that no project has been planned to control the flooding of Panadura. The Prime Minister instructed to prepare a project to prevent the city of Panadura from being inundated in the future and submit it expeditiously.
The Prime Minister also drew attention to the ongoing reconstruction work of 65 tanks in six districts under the Irrigation Prosperity Project. The officials pointed out that the reconstruction work of 23 tanks has been completed.
The Prime Minister requested the officials to submit to him a list of tanks being rehabilitated and a report on how the relevant selections were made.
It was also proposed to draw the immediate attention of the Management Services Department in recruiting staff.
Ms. Dharshani Lahandapura, Chairperson of the Marine Environment Protection Authority said that 65% progress has been made in preventing marine pollution caused by ships.
The Prime Minister also drew attention to the damage caused to the marine environment of Sri Lanka by the MV X-Press Pearl. It was revealed that water and plastic samples have been sent to London and bio-samples have been sent to France for evaluating the environmental damage caused by the shipwreck to obtain compensation.
Ms. Lahandapura revealed that the report of the 40-member expert committee appointed under the leadership of two professors is due to be presented on November 30.
In addition, the Department of Coast Conservation and Coastal Resources has identified 40 projects by 2021 and completed 14 of them.
At the end of the progress review, the Prime Minister handed over to the heads of the respective institutions the financial report form to be implemented in the future.