President urges public, private sector to step up construction work | Daily FT

©Wijeya Newspapers Limited

  • 70,100 houses for low-income families before end 2024
  • 1500 new houses to mark Habitat Day
  • 30-year long-term loan scheme at 6.25% interest to purchase houses
  • Constructions to be done in partnership with private and public sectors
  • Houses for 409 displaced families now sheltered in 22 welfare camps in North
  • PM says steps to revive Building Material Corporation

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa last week emphasised the need to accelerate construction work undertaken by the public and private sectors, indicating displeasure over slow progress.

President Rajapaksa stated that he has observed that country’s common problem is the unwillingness of the people to work. The President lamented the slow-moving pace of action on the part of both the Government and private sectors.

The President cited the state of stagnation seen in the construction work in Colombo and suburbs as an example. President Rajapaksa instructed each on-going construction to be completed immediately and requested all the parties to prepare themselves for a development revolution, backed by an attitudinal change.

The President made these comments during a discussion with the State Ministry of Rural Home Constructions and Building Material Industry Promotion to review its future activities at the Presidential Secretariat.

The National Policy Framework “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour” envisages guaranteeing a “comfortable house for every family”.

The need of a residence is faced by many, and construction of a house on their own is difficult. President Rajapaksa emphasised that it was absolutely necessary to meet the housing requirement of the people in urban, rural, and estate sectors, elevating their living standards.

State Minister Indika Anuruddha in response expressed that his Ministry under the concept of “A House for You: a Future for the Country” has commenced building 14,022 residences at the Grama Sevaka Division level for low-income families. It is expected to complete 70,100 houses thorough this project at the end of coming 5 years.

The State Minister added that to coincide with World Habitat Day on 5t October, they have devised plans to commence the construction of 1500 house units in Werellawatta, Mihindupura, Para-ngiyakumbura, Daha-iyyagama, Mattegoda, Soysapura, and Tangalle under the “Multi Facility Apartment Program.”

President Rajapaksa highlighted the importance of participation of the private and State sectors in all the constructions.

A long-term loan scheme with a repayment period of 30 years at 6.25% interest rate to purchase houses is to be introduced soon. “Steps will be taken to provide lands free of charge for the Ministry to construct apartment complexes suitable for middle-income earners,” the President added.

President directed the officials to build houses for 409 displaced families, now sheltered in 22 welfare camps in the Northern Province.

Pointing out that more than 526,000 households across the country are without toilets, Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival Head Basil Rajapaksa urged to accelerate the process to provide sanitary facilities.

State Minister Indika Anuruddha stated that the sewerage systems in the old apartment complexes need to be repaired and maintained. Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa said that the Building Materials Corporation should be revived.

The President suggested that the regional branches of the Corporation should be used as agents for supplying building materials. The present status of the Department of Buildings, Department of Government Factories, National Machinery Institute, State Development & Construction Corporation, State Engineering Corpo-ration, and Construction Industry Development Authority, as well as the steps to be taken to develop these institutions were discussed at length.

Basil Rajapaksa stressed that all these institutions should work with great enthusiasm as a revolution in the fields of construction, agriculture, and sports is expected from next year.

The Government plans to build and renovate a large number of houses, roads, bridges and tanks. The President instructed the relevant officials to involve all Government and private sector institutions under the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing in the process of construction. Secretary to the President P.B. Jayasundera, Secretaries to the Cabinet and State Ministries, heads of line institutions and private investors in the construction sector participated at this meeting.