Presidential Secretariat

President's Fund Act




The President's Fund

A Source of Hope and Solace

The President's Fund was established under an Act of Parliament in 1978, to provide funds for programmes beneficial to a large segment of the population, whose poverty and the lack of resources does not enable them to access certain specialized facilities in the health and education sector also for the promotion of religious and cultural activities. The activities of the President's Fund were reorganized to extend greater benefits, particularly to the underprivileged and the deprived sections of our citizenry. These changes were effected after Her Excellency President Chandrika Bandaranaike Kumaratunga assumed office in 1994. 

The Auditor General as soon as practicable after the 31st day of December annually prepares a report on the administration of the affaires of the Presidentís Fund. The Auditor General also prepares a statement of the income and expenditure of the Fund and of the investments of the monies belonging to the Fund. These details are forwarded to the Parliament via the Minister in charge of the subject of Finance.

A Helping-Hand to the Health Sector

New medical units for Hospitals

The President's Fund has made a significant contribution towards the construction of modern and fully equipped theater units and surgeries, which will largely benefit the less affluent patients seeking treatment at government hospitals. The Fund has also assisted in the setting up of the following facilities.

A sum of Rs.11 Million was released by the President's Fund to construct a psychiatric ward at the Colombo South Hospital and to provide training facilities for doctors and nurses on psychiatric care and in-patient treatment.
In view of the increasing number of Sri Lankans suffering from kidney failure, Rs.50 Million was granted to set up nephrology, dialysis and transplantation units.
A sum of Rs.50 Million was released to the new Kandy Hospital Complex for the establishment of a nephrology unit. A further Rs.5Million was given to the Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital to set up a renal transplant unit.

Hospital Facilities

In view of the increasing incidents of heart disease extensive funds were provided for the improvement of cardiothoracic facilities at the Colombo National Hospital and the Galle General Hospital. A further Rs. 65 Million was released for the improved facilities for cardiothoracic surgery and treatment at the Karapitiya hospital.

The President's Fund granted Rs.10 Million to upgrade facilities of the Government Ayurvedic Hospital in Pallekelle and Rs.12 Million to the Ministry of Health to improve the facilities for the mentally ill who seek treatment from state hospitals. 

A sum of Rs. 24 Million was released to improve the hospital facilities of the Sri Lanka Army.

Supply of Medical Instruments 

Modern medical equipment enables quick and accurate diagnosis of illnesses, and subsequently prompt and effective patient care. A sum Rs.40 Million from the President's Fund was made available for the purchase of 2 MRI scanners for the Colombo National Hospital. A further Rs.6 Million was granted to the Sri Jayewardenepura General Hospital to purchase equipment for a new scoliosis (spinal deformity) unit. A sum of Rs. 3 Million to purchase mammogram machines for the Colombo National Hospital was granted. Rs.10.3 Million   was given to the Health Ministry for the purchase of 6 dialysis machines for use in the Colombo National Hospital, the Kandy General Hospital and the Karapitiya Teaching Hospital. A further Rs.110 Million was released to the Colombo National Hospital, to equip the new cardiology wing. 

Financial Assistance for Needy Patients

During the period 1995 Ė 2004 the President's Fund disbursed a sum in excess of Rs. 2.5 Billion to an increasing number of patients suffering from life threatening diseases such as heart disease, kidney failure and cancer. 

The Fund also provides financial assistance to cancer patients to obtain costly drugs. Kidney patients too have gained immense benefits from the President's Fund. It is estimated that around 700 new cases of kidney failure occur annually in Sri Lanka and each kidney transplant surgery costs more than Rs.300, 000. The Fund granted Rs. 315.5 Million to kidney patients between 1995-2004. This has provided immense relief to hundreds of poor patients who would have otherwise been unable to meet such high costs.

Religious and Cultural activities

President Chandrika Kumaratunga also expanded the Fundís scope to grant facilities for religious, sports and cultural activities. Thus, a sum of Rs.40 Million was granted to set up a welfare fund for low income performing artists, who will benefit from a monthly allowance. The Fund has also granted Rs.5 Million to the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports to set up 500 libraries in all electorates, to encourage the reading habit among youth. After alcohol and tobacco companies were prohibited from sponsoring sports events, the Presidentís Fund allocated Rs.40 Million for sports activities. 

The President's Fund has also provided much assistance in relation to religious activities and institutions. The Buddha Sasana Ministry was granted Rs. 5 Million to construct a pilgrims' rest in New Delhi and a further Rs.10 Million was granted to the Ministry of Religious and Cultural Affairs to provide desks and chairs for use at Sunday schools. Grants are also given for urgent repairs to religious sites. For example, Rs.800, 000 was provided for the renovation of the Tissamaharama Rajamaha Vihara Chetiya.

Developing the Education Sector 

The Fund granted Rs. 100 Million to Sri Lankan innovators in order to encourage them to turn out devices utilizing local raw materials. Loan facilities are available under the Innovators Fund for creative persons who design equipment especially for use in the fields of agriculture and industry.

School activities such as exhibitions are also supported by the President's Fund. For example Rs.100, 000 was granted to the "Pulathisi Daruwo" exhibition held at Polonnaruwa Royal College.

The Presidential Scholarship Scheme for post graduate studies

The Presidential Scholarship Scheme was revamped to grant 175 scholarships to University Lecturers, Public Sector employees and their children and other bright youth to follow academic and training courses in fields that would meet the development needs of the country.

The Millennium Scholarship Scheme

A new scholarship scheme for G. C. E. A'Level students who excel in academic and extra curricular activities, was launched with the new batch of A' Level students in 2000.

A significant number of students drop out of school due to financial difficulties after they qualify for the G. C. E. A'Level. The Millennium Scheme is intended to provide financial assistance to needy and talented students, so that they can continue their studies up to G C. E. A'Level. Under privileged students in rural areas are given priority. Students from all districts of Sri Lanka are eligible to apply. Selections will be based on a special scheme, which takes into account the results of the G. C. E. O'Level exam in addition to other criteria.

The scholarship will be for a period of two years, i.e.: up to the G. C. E. A'Level.

Scholarship scheme for grade 6-11 students in Northeast Province  

In 2002 a scheme to help the less affluent children in the Northeast to continue their studies 

These disbursements are few among the many other grants made by the President's Fund in recent times. The selective disbursement of President's Fund monies has enabled the funding of worthy humanitarian causes, thereby affording much needed relief, particularly to the poorer segments of the population. The President's Fund has indeed shed a bright ray of hope illumining the lives of thousands of the less fortunate people of this country.




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