The Divi Neguma Department – established to raise the living standards of 1.8 million families and thereby benefit five million persons – will commence operations from Friday January 3.
The department’s main objective is to make Sri Lanka a poverty-free country for which purpose food security will be ensured and micro finance, physical and social
Infrastructure facilities will be provided to strengthen livelihoods and development at community level.
Following the passing of the Divi Neguma Bill with a majority of 117 votes in parliament on January 8, 2013 in accordance with the recommendations made by the Supreme Court, 27,000 persons employed by the Samurdhi Authority and the five affiliated organizations will become entitled to all the salaries and benefits given to other government employees.
The Divi Neguma programme will be streamlined under a single department combining the services of five organizations including the Sri Lanka Samurdhi Authority, Upcountry Development Authority and Southern Development Authority in five regions. The department will be empowered simultaneously with the issuing of the relevant gazette notice January 3rd.
By now 12,533 cottage industries have started under the Divi Neguma programme and about 30,000 small entrepreneurs have been trained for setting up such industries. A system has been introduced to provide the capital and financial facilities they need through State Banks.
The livestock sector has seen much progress under Divi Neguma and thousands of farmers have newly entered this area. The beneficiaries have been provided with 1.7 million chicks for poultry farming thus contributing Rs. 4320 million to the national economy. The number of subsidiary crop exporters who have benefited from Divi Neguma is 1.1 million. The programme has also made an immense contribution to increase liquid milk production and fish consumption per person per day.