The Government this week decided to form a new entity named the ‘Department of Divineguma Combined Rural Development,’ bringing five such institutions coming under the Economic Development Ministry under one umbrella.
The Cabinet meeting this week, with President Mahinda Rajapaksa in the chair, gave approval to the memorandum submitted by Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa.
Accordingly, the office of Commissioner General of Samurdhi, Samurdhi Development Authority, Department of Upcountry Peasants Rehabilitation, Sri Lanka Udarata Development Authority and Southern Development Authority would be brought under the new department.
The objective of this new move is to implement the programme of one million domestic economic units as announced by the President in the Budget 2011 and empowerment of rural economy in a combine manner.
When the staff of the Samurdhi Authority is absorbed into this new department, all Samurdhi staff will be granted pensionable status from the date of their first appointment.
A Voluntary Retirement Scheme will be implemented for those who are unwilling to come under this programme of converting all these institutions in to a single department.
The head office of this new department will be located out of Colombo while three regional offices will be set up as the northern regional office, up country regional office and the southern regional office.