COLOMBO :Families who had been in possession of government lands without clear ownership started receiving grants under the patronage of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa today (08) at the Presidential Secretariat.
The government’s objective is to ensure that every family owns a land with undisputed ownership as envisioned in the National Policy Framework “Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour”. Under the provisions of the Land Development Ordinance and the State Land Ordinance, grants will be awarded to 20,000 persons based on legal criteria covering the entire island during the first phase of the program.
Program prioritizes low-income families whose livelihood is cultivation. The government intends to empower and encourage them by providing with ownership rights to their lands in order to increase their level of income.
The recipients of these lands can use them to build a house, for agricultural purposes, for other crops and business activities. It is expected to strengthen the national economy with the contribution made by the recipients of these lands via effective and full utilization of them.
The grant, awarded by the President, is considered a deed, indicating undisputed ownership of the specific land. The beneficiaries of this grant can obtain a bank loan placing them as collateral. The President stated that he expects to issue 100,000 ownership grants before the end of this year.
President Rajapaksa presented grants to 19 persons representing all provinces to symbolize the launch of the program today.
The program is jointly carried out by the Presidential Secretariat, the Ministry of Lands and the Ministry of Mahaweli.
Minister S.M. Chandrasena, State Ministers Siripala Gamalath, and Anuradha Jayaratne, Secretary to the President PB Jayasundera, Principal Adviser to the President Lalith Weeratunga and Secretaries and officials of line ministries were also present at the occasion.