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Ensure no one in need is overlooked – President

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President Ranil Wickremesinghe instructed officials to ensure no one in need is overlooked in providing rice to low-income families.

In addition, the President directed the officers to purchase adequate rice to feed 2.85 million (28,50,000) families subject to a maximum of Rs. 20 billion.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe made these remarks today (14) while attending a discussion related to the purchase of paddy at the Ministry of Defence.

The President further instructed that the paddy be purchased, milled and the rice be distributed among low-income earners through a transparent mechanism.

Previously, it was decided to allocate Rs. 10,000 million to purchase 61,600 metric tons of paddy under the program of providing 2 million low-income families with 10 kg of rice each per month over a period of two months, free of charge.

However, it was revealed during this discussion that 2.85 million families have been identified as being in need of this assistance.

Accordingly, President Ranil Wickremesinghe directed the officials to implement the program for all those people.

President Wickremesinghe further stated,

ìThe Government is set to purchase rice worth Rs. 20 billion to distribute to 2,850,000 low-income families as part of its food security program. The government will protect the rice price by providing a guaranteed price. District and Divisional Secretaries have been delegated the task of purchasing paddy stocks. The government will not sell rice, and a full-time team will be deployed to take this program forward.

A formal mechanism for distributing rice to eligible people in all 25 districts will be developed. The government is taking measures to prevent large-scale paddy mill owners from exerting unnecessary influence in purchasing paddy. The government aims to label the grant given to low-income families as “relief rice” to prevent its resale. Members of Parliament are being consulted, and discussions are on-going with the District Secretaries.

However, this necessitates the deployment of a full-time team. The agreement was expressed during the discussion with the security forces to release a group of officials from Ministry of Defence for this purpose.

Obtaining accurate data is crucial for the program’s progress. If government officials are uncooperative at the village level, a contracted team should be recruited to expedite data collection. They should receive priority for future vacancies, and retired officials may also provide assistance. All activities must be completed within a designated timeframe.”

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Sri Lanka Mirror wishes everyone a happy Sinhala and Tamil New Year!

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The 2024 Sinhala and Tamil New Year dawned at 09.05 pm last night (April 13).

‘Sri Lanka Mirror’ extends heartfelt New Year greetings to all our readers. May this upcoming year be filled with boundless happiness, prosperity, and success for each and everyone of you.

–  Sri Lanka Mirror team

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Derailed train causes delays on coastal line

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A train has derailed at the Kalutara South railway station on Saturday morning (13).

Trains operating on the Coastal Line are thus experiencing delays, Sri Lanka Railways said.

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Kristalina Georgieva to head IMF for a 2nd term

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The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has selected Kristalina Georgieva to serve as IMF Managing Director for a second five-year term starting on October 1, 2024.

The appointment comes ahead of the start of the fund’s spring meetings in Washington next week.

Georgieva, who has been in the role since the autumn of 2019, was the sole candidate for the position. However, it was only after European leaders signalled that they would endorse her last month that her candidacy was assured.

In a statement, the coordinators of the Executive Board, Mr. Afonso S. Bevilaqua and Mr. Abdullah F. BinZarah has said, “Looking ahead, the Board welcomes Ms. Georgieva’s ongoing emphasis on issues of macroeconomic and financial stability, while also ensuring that the Fund continues to adapt and evolve to meet the needs of its entire membership. It recognizes her focus on strengthening the Fund’s support to its members through effective policy advice, capacity development and financing. The Board looks forward to continuing to work closely with the Managing Director.”

“I am deeply grateful for the trust and support of the Fund’s Executive Board, representing our 190 members, and honored to continue to lead the IMF as Managing Director for a second five-year term,” Ms. Georgieva has said.

The Bulgarian national has served as Managing Director since October 1, 2019. The Managing Director is the chief of the IMF’s operating staff and Chair of the Executive Board. The Managing Director is assisted by four Deputy Managing Directors in overseeing the Fund’s operations, which serve its membership through about 3,100 staff.

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