January 19, 2020
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    Mahapola Scholarship installments on the 15th of every month

    January 12, 2020

    Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa has instructed the Treasury to pay the Mahapola Scholarship installments, which have not yet been paid, to the students within the next week, Minister of Higher Education Bandula Gunawardena said.Addressing a press conference held at the Information Department yesterday, Minister Bandula Gunawardena said the Government has decided to remit Mahapola Scholarship money directly to the bank accounts of students on the 15th of every month from January 2020.

    “I promise very clearly. Arrangements have been made to continue the scholarship that all students should receive without any shortage on the 15th of every month from January 2020 until the end of our government,” the Minister said.“Therefore, the Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa as the Minister of Finance has ordered the Treasury to pay back the outstanding arrears immediately. Accordingly, the money will be paid this week,” he said.
    Minister Gunawardena said the main request of the students was to increase the Mahapola scholarship to Rs.10,000. Arrangements have been made to increase the scholarship when the new budget is presented after the next election, he added. The Minister also revealed about a fraud that had occurred in the Mahapola Fund. He said the Fund has grown to Rs. 10.5 billion at present.

    “There are separate companies to invest that money to earn more income. It has been reported that during the last government more the Rs. 2 billion of that income has been stolen like the Central Bank bond scam. As the Minister, I had gone to the CID and requested in-writing to get this money back to the Mahapola Fund,” the Minister said.

    Minister Gunawardena said the aim of today’ press conference is to propose a program to double the Rs. 10 billion fund over the next five years.It has been proposed to raise funds by rallying the university community and selling a lottery, obtaining some contribution by an online system from employees who have received Mahapola benefits, and donating a percentage of the proceeds of the university courses to the Mahapola Fund. In addition receiving donations from philanthropists has also been proposed."We are also making a public appeal to former students who are beneficiaries of the Mahapola fund and who are working or studying abroad now to contribute if they can to the fund," he said. It has also been proposed to re-organize the Mahapola Trade Fair at the district level to raise funds.

     national program to provide higher education opportunities for all those who passed the G.C.E. Advanced Level examination will be implemented within 60 days, Minister added.He further said that measures have been taken to stop the suppression of university students through tear gas, water cannons or violence.

    Last modified on Sunday, 12 January 2020 10:02

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