President underscores need for Ministries to work together in national development

President underscores need for Ministries to work together in national development

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President Maithripala Sirisena has underscored the need for all Line Ministries to work in unison in the National Development programme. The President expressed this view at a meeting with Ministry Secretaries.

The discussion between the President and Ministry Secretaries was held at the Presidential Secretariat. Addressing the meeting, President Maithripala Sirisena pointed out that all Ministries should extend maximum contribution to the development programme.

The President said he hoped to hold progress review meetings of every Ministry from two weeks onwards. Discussions would centre on what each Ministry had done for the last two and a half years. One factor would be the financial and physical progress for the year 2017. Plans targeted by each Ministry up to 2020 is another topic that is expected to be discussed.

President Maithripala Sirisena expressed views on the transfers of Divisional Secretaries. The President said that due to the interest of anyone a Divisional Secretary cannot be stationed for a long period at the same location and a policy decision had to be taken on such transfers. The President pointed out the need for a certain control with respect to foreign tours of Ministers and Ministry officials from high positions to lower positions.

The President mentioned that the Bangladesh Prime Minister had said that it was the first time that the Bangladesh Government had inked such a large number of agreements with another country. The number of agreements was 12. This indicates the Bangladesh Government’s respect towards Sri Lanka. He said that there may be around 200 to 300 agreements that have been signed during his and officials visits of the Prime Minister. He said that there should be a section responsible with respect to the foreign agreements that are being signed by Sri Lanka.

The President instructed the Ministry Secretaries to expeditiously complete the acquisition of land for the construction of houses for families displaced by disasters. The President underscored the need to fulfil the responsibilities vested at the Ministry level in the granting of relief to those impacted by the Uma Oya Project. Another matter to which attention was drawn to was the filling of vacancies in Ministries. The President elaborated on the need for a publicity programme to educate the public on development work carried out at the Ministerial level. The President instructed the appointment of an information officer for the implementation of this programme maintaining links with the Government Information Department.

A group including President’s Secretary Austin Fernando was present.