To better achieve the grassroots economic development and alleviate poverty, the government is planing to establish a new department by combining several currently existing poverty alleviation agencies.
The Minister of Economic Development Basil Rajapaksa has presented the Divi Neguma bill to parliament in order to establish the Department of Divi Neguma Development.
The bill proposes the establishment of the new department by amalgamating the Samurdhi Authority, Southern Development Authority and the Udarata Development Authority.
The new department will absorb all the officers and employees of those Samurdhi authorities including more than 27,000 Samurdhi officers. All employees are eligible for pension.
In addition the bill will make provision to establish Divi Neguma Community Based Organizations at rural level and to provide for a co coordinating network at the district level and national level.
Continuing the economic development process according to the national policy of alleviating poverty and ensuring social equity, the bill proposes establishing Divi Neguma Community Based Banks and Divi Neguma Community Based Banking Societies to build regional, district and national level coordinating network and developing and promoting a micro- finance banking system.
Divi Neguma regional organizations will be established for the purpose of supervising, monitoring and evaluating the functions of those organizations at regional level.
All Samurdhi Development Banks will be converted into Divi Neguma Development Banks under the new department.
The Bill will be taken up for debate and approval in the parliament.