|Saturday, 8 November 2003|
by Uditha Kumarasinghe
The remarkable progress achieved by the Samurdhi programme in alleviating poverty among low income groups has inspired the Government to set up 109 Samurdhi Bank Societies in the North-East to provide financial support to boost economic activities among the people there.
The Government's target is to set up 111 Samurdhi Bank Societies in Jaffna, Ampara, Batticaloa, Vavuniya and Trincomalee districts. Of them, 109 banks have already been opened and the balance two banks are scheduled to be opened in Jaffna next week, a Sri Lanka Samurdhi Authority (SLSA) spokesman told the Daily News yesterday.
"There are 506,638 families in the North-East today. Of them, 314,648 families have already joined the Samurdhi programme as Samurdhi beneficiary families. This indicates that nearly 63 per cent families in the North-East have already become active members of the Samurdhi Movement," he said.
Meanwhile, 222,703 low income people in these five districts have already obtained the membership and become active members of Samurdhi banks. In addition, Samurdhi Banks have granted Rs.325 million worth loans to 45,830 low income people in these five districts. The ceasefire has also opened avenues for the setting up of more Samurdhi Bank Societies in the five districts.
The Government has opened 30 Samurdhi banks in Jaffna in addition to Ampara (26), Batticaloa (29), Vavuniya (6) and Trincomalee (18). The total deposits at these banks are Rs.233.5 million.
Produced by Lake House