Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa will sign the gazette notification formally establishing the controversial and disputed Divi Neguma Development Department tomorrow (Friday).
The notification will officially empower the department to streamline the Divi Neguma programme by combining the services of five organisations including the Sri Lanka Samurdhi Authority, Upcountry Development Authority and Southern Development Authority in five regions.
Following the passing of the Divi Neguma Bill with a majority of 117 votes on January 8, 2013 in accordance with the recommendations the Supreme Court made 26,000 persons employed by the Samurdhi Authority and the five affiliated organisations will become entitled to all the salaries and benefits given to other government employees.
The Economic Development Ministry said that the Divi Neguma Development Department will function under a Director General and additional Directors General in five regions and Deputy Directors in 25 district offices. Under them will be Divi Neguma Community Organisations and Divi Neguma Banks which will function with the assistance of the 26 member-Divi Neguma National Council.
The department’s special feature is that not only Samurdhi beneficiaries but also any Divi Neguma beneficiary who has contributed to national productivity is entitled to join it. Their work and that of the community, provincial and other relevant organizations will be combined by a National Congress via district committees. The Divi Neguma Banks Association will streamline and consolidate the management of the Divi Neguma campaign. (Colombo Gazette)