Sri Lanka’s Multi Purpose Development Task Force to be launched on January 15

Dec 18, 2019 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s government is to launch the programme of generating 100,000 employment opportunities for poor families, on January 15, 2020.

During the first phase, 100,000 jobs will be provided covering the entire island and more than 10,000 graduates to be recruited for the positions of management and monitoring at the field level.

The objective of this Multi-Purpose Development Task Force is to empower the families who are eligible to receive Samurdhi benefits yet do not receive it.

Full statement issued by President’s Media Division

The initial discussion to lay the foundation to establish a Multi-Purpose Development Task Force as envisaged in the policy statement of “Saubhagyaye Dekma” was held at the Presidential Secretariat this morning (18).

The objective of the Task Force is to empower the families who are eligible to receive Samurdhi benefits yet do not receive it.

This will provide employment opportunities to these family members who are qualified to join the workforce of the country.

Unskilled individuals without any formal education or of lower level of education will be selected under the programme. During the first phase 100,000 jobs will be provided covering the entire island. Around 30,000 more indirect employment opportunities will also be generated. More than 10,000 graduates will be recruited for the positions of management and monitoring at the field level.

Between 300 to 350 persons from each Divisional Secretariat will be recruited. They will be seconded to fill the vacancies which do not require any specific educational qualifications exist at schools, hospitals and other State institutions. Measures will be taken to absorb the candidates to sectors such as masonry, carpentry, agriculture, fisheries, forest conservation following provision of training according to the needs of the area. The programme is scheduled to be launched on January 15, 2020. Requirement and training will be conducted under the supervision of the Ministry of Defence and the tri-forces.

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa while pointing out that this initiative is an idea emerged during the election campaign highlighted the importance of implementing the programme efficiently and effectively. President said this project will be instrumental in liberating families from poverty and empowering them economically.

Secretary to the President P. B. Jayasundara said that this concept of the President would help to reduce the annual expenditure of Rs. 2000 million spent on importing agri-products to a minimum level.

The Multi-Purpose Development Task Force will also make its contribution to various other activities such as assisting the government officials to maintain State properties and other civil activities, prevention of diseases including dengue, natural disasters, uplifting rural infrastructure facilities and coast conservation.

Under another phase it is also expected to provide foreign employment opportunities based on their capabilities and skills. It has been planned to link them to a pension scheme upon completion of 10-years of service.

The Honorary Adviser to the President Lalith Weeratunga pointed out that this will pave the way to rectify the long-term political error of recruiting educated people for jobs that do not require a qualification.

President said that the most suitable candidate should be recruited to the Task Force and they should be given employment opportunities within their areas of residence.

The programme will be helpful those who will be recruited to raise their income from current Samurdhi allowance of Rs. 3500 to Rs. 35,000. This will lead the way for an attitudinal change in the country, said the President. This programme should be restricted to the poor families. President emphasized the fact that the recruitment should be done only after visiting the families and gaining correct information. He instructed officials not to repeat the mistakes done in the past in recruiting processes.

Ministers Pavithra Wanniarachchi, Shehan Semasinghe, Tharaka Balasooriya, Members of Parliament Namal Rajapaksa, D. V. Chanaka, former Provincial Coiuncil Ministers Kanchana Jayaratne, Jagath Kumara, W. D. Weerasinghe, Secretary to the Ministry of Defence, heads of armed forces and officials were present at the discussion.