Samurdhi has played pivotal role in alleviating poverty -
Newly appointed Samurdhi and Poverty Alleviation Deputy Minister
Mahindananda Aluthgamage yesterday stressed that the Samurdhi Movement
introduced in 1994 on a concept of President Chandrika Bandaranaike
Kumaratunga has played a leading role to alleviate poverty in the
country. However he said the Movement has yet to reach its set targets.
The Deputy Minister after assuming duties in his new office said that
the Samurdhi Movement was established with the intention of alleviating
poverty and uplift the living conditions of under privileged. At the
beginning of the Samurdhi programme, subsidies were granted to a total
of 2.1 million low income families. At present this has been reduced to
1.85 million. However the President's objective was not to grant
subsidies to these 2.1 million low income families forever.
Her intention was to increase the income level of these low income
families and reduce the total number of Samurdhi beneficiary families
sytematically once they reached a certain income generating level, he
After 11 years, only a small amount of Samurdhi beneficiary families
have been reduced from its total amount. This is a good indication. But,
the Samurdhi Movement has not yet reached its expected objective.
There should be constant dialogue with all those who work within the
Movement to bring it towards its expected target, sucessfully the Deputy
Samurdhi and Poverty Alleviation Minister Pavithra Wanniarachchi said
in a situation where attempts are being made by the Ministry to find out
solutions to an issue of this nature under a new vision, the appointment
of new Deputy Minister is a great strength to bring forward the
Ministry's proposed programmes.
The Minister said all Ministry officials should extend their support
to conduct the Ministry's poverty alleviation programmes. This is
because Samurdhi is a totally different subject to that of other
Getting the poor to extricate themselves from the poverty mindset is
a most difficult task, she said. "Therefore we should determine to
transform the Movement into the key poverty alleviation mechanism of the
country while making efforts to increase country's national income," she
Samurdhi and Poverty Alleviation Deputy Minister Rohana Dissanayake
said the responsibility of the Samurdhi Ministry is to make arrangements
to eradicate country's poverty.
Nearly 60 per cent of country's people live below the poverty line.
Therefore the key duty of the Ministry and Sri Lanka Samurdhi Authority
is to take every possible attempt to alleviate the poverty among low
Deputy Agriculture Minister Jagath Pushpakumara said the Samurdhi and
Agriculture Ministry can make joint efforts to implement a series of
programmes to uplift the living conditions of the poor. On the directive
of the President the Samurdhi Movement has already commenced several
programmes to alleviate poverty among the poor.