The fertile agricultural lands immensely contribute to the country’s economic stability and the ownership of lands help the people to utilise them with dignity and pride, President Mahinda Rajapaksa said.
Addressing the recipients of Ranbima deeds at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium yesterday (Aug. 19), President said it is the prime responsibility of the people to get the best use of their lands. He urged recipients of land deeds to cultivate more local crops in their lands to meet both their needs and that of the country.
President added that when he became the leader of the country people didn’t want anything except eradicating terrorism. Yet the Government placed the country on a sound footing while abolishing terrorism which brought misery for over three decades, he said.
The present Government never does anything for political gain or for attracting votes. Everything is done to a proper plan, a set target and with a result oriented vision, he added.
Around 1,500 families that had lived for long in Government owned lands received Ranbima deeds from the President.
The event was organised by Land Reform Commission (LRC) officials.
Addressing the gathering, President Rajapaksa said obtaining ownership of a plot of land is a significant moment for anyone.
He said according to Mahinda Chintana, the policy statement of the Government, it had been scheduled to offer land ownership to one million landless families.
Land value is increasing significantly owing to the ongoing infrastructure development. Access roads to lands are constructed while electrification and water supply projects are implemented under the infrastructure development activities of the Government, President Rajapaksa said.
The President requested them to manage their lands productively to simultaneously enhance their livelihoods and increase contribution to the national agricultural output.
“Today a long felt dream of yours will be realised. Some have been awaiting ownership of land for three decades,” he said.
The President said it was the late Prime Minister Sirimavo Bandaranaike and Hector Kobbekaduwa who had initiated the distribution of state land among the landless people of the country.
“However, officials of the LRC are conducting the distribution of state land among the landless in an organised manner,” he added.
To be self-sufficient in food, the Government was carrying out several programs and projects including the Divi Neguma program, the President said.
During the tenure of certain Governments, farmers were discouraged. Those Governments encouraged setting up of industries by filling up paddy fields. A new era of agriculture has drawn under the vision of Mahinda Chintana, he said.
Referring to the infrastructure and other development initiatives of the Government, the President said that over 96 percent households have electricity today.
The next set target of the Government is to provide drinking water for every household by 2020, he said.
The President noted that the state service has been strengthened after being weakened by the United National Party.
Thousands of graduates who were in job queues during the UNP were given employment under this Government, he said.