Government to create 200,000 self-employment next year

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – The government has decided to create 200,000 self-employment opportunities by 2021 with the aim of reviving the rural economy which has been hit hard by the Covid-19 epidemic and strengthening the livelihoods of the people.

Basil Rajapaksa, Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival and Poverty Alleviation, has decided to hand over the leadership of this program to direct the Samurdhi recipients to livelihood to the Samurdhi Managers and Samurdhi Development Officers while 25,000 new outlets are to be opened for rural products next year.

Accordingly, Samurdhi Managers and Samurdhi Development Officers will take the lead in the process of directing Samurdhi recipients to livelihoods under the Rural Economy Building Program, Basil Rajapaksa said while participating in a discussion with Samurdhi managers at Temple Trees on the 28th.

The discussion focused on the future course of action to be taken with regard to Samurdhi Home Economics, Micro Finance, Self-Employment and Business Development.

Mr. Rajapaksa pointed out that this year’s budget focuses on solving the problem of youth unemployment and empowering rural women by selecting women entrepreneurs at the Grama Niladhari Division level and providing them with training and facilities to run businesses.

He said the government expects to facilitate 200,000 self-employment opportunities in agriculture, animal husbandry, fisheries, renewable energy generation and home-based industries.

The budget also focuses on creating a market for the rural products that will be created through this program and it is planned to open 25,000 new outlets for this purpose.

Therefore, the Samurdhi Development Department, the strongest department covering the entire country, has a special responsibility in implementing the 2021 budget at the rural level, said Basil Rajapaksa.

The Samurdhi Development Department spends around Rs. 1 billion per month for the upliftment of Samurdhi recipients and their families.

He also instructed the Samurdhi Managers to work with the Regional Coordinating Committees to direct the unemployed Samurdhi recipients to livelihood development activities and empower them with a strong economy.

Ministers of State Shehan Semasinghe, Sita Arambepola, Ajith Nivard Cabraal and a number of government officials participated in the discussion.


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