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President Maithripala Sirisena says at the moment the government has taken steps to reduce the prices of essential food items. The President further said that the government provided these reliefs to the public taking into the consideration of the living standards of the people in the country and said that the present government is committed to provide facilities necessary for the better living standards of the people.

He made these remarks during a ceremony to vest the third phase of the ‘Laksanda Sevana’ Housing complex, built for the under-privileged people in Colombo, in Salamulla, Kolonnawa with the public yesterday (Nov.08).

This housing scheme was constructed under the Urban Regeneration Programme by the Urban Development Authority with the guidance of the Ministry of Megapolis and Western Development. The third phase of the ‘Laksanda Sevana’ Housing complex consisted of 396 housing units.

These houses will be provided for 72 families whose houses were destroyed due to the Meethotamulla garbage dump incident as well as another 150 houses were provided for the families at 175 Waththa and 87 Waththa around Beira Lake. The remaining houses will be provided for the families displayed due to the Kelani Valley Railway project.

The Laksada Sevana housing scheme comprising of housing units built at a cost of Rs 1,584 million. Each house comprises of a living room, two bedrooms, kitchen, balcony and sanitary facilities and each unit costs Rs 04 million.

Speaking further, the President said the trading community should take action to provide these reliefs to the people without any delay. “It is their responsibility to provide the food stuffs to the customers at the reduced prices announced by the government. If it is not happening properly the government will initiate a plan to ensure that”, he warned.

The President stated the prices of rice and coconut increased due to the fall of national food production due to drought. “The government imported rice and gave it to people at a subsidized rate. But we can’t import coconut”, he explained.

He said the international financial assistance has increased due to the better foreign policy of Sri Lanka. He further stated that large number of victories could be achieved through the policy decisions taken by the government for last 3 years to free the country from debt burden.

“Physical towns can be created but it is difficult to create lively towns. We should give priority to build a better society to beautify the lives of the people who are living in concrete buildings”, he said.

President Sirisena said the budget to be presented tomorrow has large allocations for the development of Colombo District and Western Province. He said the government’s objective is to build a balanced development island-wide.

The President unveiled the plaque and vested the housing scheme with public. He also observed its premises. He symbolically handed over the house keys to 11 beneficiaries.

Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka and MP S. M. Marikkar also were present at this occasion.

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