April 18, 2024
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    Special Program Targets Empowerment of 14,000 Underprivileged Individuals – Social Empowerment State Minister Anupa Pasqual

    March 21, 2024

    State Minister for Social Empowerment Mr. Anupa Pasqual said that a special program for the empowerment of 14,000 “Aswesuma” beneficiaries will be implemented in the near future together with the Small Tea estate Development Authority.

    The State Minister also mentioned that through the Livestock Ministry, 10,000 country chicken farm projects are expected to be started, centering on Kalutara and Kurunegala districts.

    The State Minister made these remarks during a press briefing titled “Collective Path to a Stable Country” held at the President Media Centre (PMC) today (20).

    Addressing the Media Personnel the State Minister further said;

    In a significant development, the allocation for the “Awaswasuma” Program has tripled the initial amount designated for the “Samurdhiya” subsidy under the guidance of President Ranil Wickremesinghe. An amount of Rs. 60 billion was initially earmarked for “Samurdhi”, whereas a substantial increase to Rs. 180 billion has been designated for “Aswesuma” initiatives. These subsidies primarily target individuals who bore the brunt of the economic crisis experienced last season.

    Additionally, the World Bank, the Asian Development Bank, and the Treasury have collaborated to allocate financial resources aimed at bolstering support for individuals facing economic challenges. As part of this initiative, the National Apprentice and Industrial Training Authority (NAITA) and the Vocational Training Authority have jointly launched a vocational training program. This program involves selecting seven individuals from each rural service sector to comprehensively cover all rural services. Upon successful completion of the training, participants will receive a recognized professional training certificate.

    Furthermore, a specialized program aimed at empowering 14,000 beneficiaries in collaboration with the Small Estate Development Authority is set to be launched soon. The program includes plans to cultivate 2000 hectares of tea in the designated area.

    Additionally, a dedicated debt relief system has been initiated for the fishing industry. Under this scheme, the Ministry of Fisheries, in conjunction with community organizations and Samurdhi Banks, is working to provide concessional loans to support brackish-freshwater fishing families. Furthermore, subsidized loans will be extended to 400 families for sea urchin production. The program also aims to provide fishing boats and other necessary equipment for the industry’s enhancement.

    Moreover, initiatives are underway to issue standardized “Toddy Licenses” for crops such as palmyrah, kithul, and coconut. This move aims to shift from artificial products to producing and marketing healthy, natural alcohol for both domestic and international markets.

    Additionally, the Ministry of Livestock is poised to commence the production of 10,000 country chicken farms, focusing on the Kalutara and Kurunegala districts.

    Our objective is to bolster the manufacturing economy, aiming to make a significant contribution towards its enhancement.

    Furthermore, numerous agreements have been inked with 33 vocational training institutes in Chongqing Province, China. This move aims to enhance product quality and attract investments. One hundred thousand of our professionals are set to receive training in China, with hopes to empower a community of 300,000 individuals within the current year.

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