(UDHAYAM, COLOMBO) – Maintaining a national government in power is a difficult endeavour, but every effort should be taken to keep it going for the sake of the immense benefits which will accrue to the people, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.
Addressing a meeting which followed the laying of foundation stones for the several stages of the ‘Viyathpura’ middle class housing scheme at Weera Mawatha, Pannipitiya, the Prime Minister said the benefits of building a market economy with social justice will accrue not only to the UNP and the SLFP but to all citizens in the country.
The Prime Minister, who said that the Viyathapura Urban Housing Scheme was one segment of the government’s economic development program, added that the government had to pay back Rs. 4,200,000 million next year alone as dues on the immense debt burden left over by the previous regime.
“A market economy was needed to facilitate this task,” the Prime Minister said.
He said benefits of the market economy could not be restricted to a few industrialists and business persons only. These benefits should filter down to the employees too because the market economy and social justice should go hand in hand as two sides of the same coin.
The Prime Minister said that he held discussions with Trade Unions in the IPZ last week and added that they were finding out the manner in which a share of the income from increased production could be distributed among employees. Premier Wickremesinghe said two more accomplishments were needed to provide more benefits to the people. The school system would be developed by making education compulsory for 13 years and providing technical education to students left out of university education.
The PM said the government had launched a massive program to provide housing to shanty dwellers and the middle class. Flats with infrastructure facilities would be built in urban areas. Kurunegala, Kuliyapitiya, Chilaw, Kandy and Galle would become large urban centres in another 10 years.
Provision of separate housing schemes for professionals was an idea mooted by Minister Patali Champika Ranawake, who had also undertaken the responsibility to resolve vehicle congestion in the city and the suburbs.
Megapolis and Western Development Minister Patali Champika Ranawake also spoke. Justice and Buddhasasana Minister Dr. Wijedasa Rajapakshe, Western Province Chief Minister Isura Devapriya and Provincial Council members Rodney Fraser and Namal R. Pieris were also present on the occasion.