The Deputy Minister said so while participating in the third reading debate on budget 2015 on the 13th allocated day today (18).
Expenditure heads of the ministries of Productivity Promotion, Plantation Industries, Minor Export Crop Promotion, Coconut Development and Janatha Estate Development, Sugar Industry Development, Special Projects, Social Services, Re-settlement, Disaster Management, Botanical Gardens and Public Recreation and Wildlife Resources Conservation referred to a Special Parliamentary Select Committee for the consideration were taken up for debate today.
Deputy Minister Anthony sad that nearly 1.2 million coconut saplings had been released to the Northern Province and a 700-acre coconut grove cultivated in Kilinochchi. “In the Eastern Province alone over 1.85 million coconut saplings were planted. Coconut, tea and rubber were considered as cash-crops of capitalism. We have changed that mindset and promoted smallholders. No past government had helped the smallholders this much. There was a time the estate owner needed to have at least 50 acres of coconut cultivated to obtain the membership of Kapruka Purawara Society. We changed that too.”(Special Reporter/HC)