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Low interest housing loans for Middle Class

Slum dwellers will be given 20,000 new houses in the Colombo Municipal area under the first stage of the housing development programme, Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said.

Middle class people will be granted housing loans at low interest rates for a five year period to build houses of their own.

The National Savings Bank has allocated Rs.7,500 million to grant these loans, the Prime Minister said.

The Premier was addressing a meeting of the Colombo Central electorate UNP Central Committee (Bala Mandalaya) meeting at the Sri Sucharitha Hall, Hulftsdorp, Colombo recently.

The Prime Minister said Middle class families need at least Rs.5 to 6 million to purchase a house. Therefore,additional loans would be given to them for this purpose if needed.

The Prime Minister and the government would launch a massive Housing Development programme throughout the country during the next three years. Four Ministries would be involved in this programme.

Several flats were planed for construction for low income families when the government assumed power. However, financial allocations had not been made for these projects. These projects would have come to a standstill if funds were not forthcoming.

“Former Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake provided the necessary funds to the NHDA for work on these projects to continue. Whoever had launched these projects, it was the present government which prevented the halting of them by allocating the required funds for them,” the Prime Minister said.

The Prime Minister said another 50,000 houses would be built under the Northern Rehabilitation Programme, while another 10,000 houses will be constructed in the plantation sector. The number of houses would be further increased if needed.

Housing and Construction Minister Sajith Premadasa had accelerated the housing development programme and the government had allocated funds to build about 200,000 houses under the rural housing development programme.

The Prime Minister said not withstanding the financial borders left over by the Rajapakse regime, the present government would take all possible measures to provide relief to the people.

Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe said the Colombo Central area will be given prominence in the government’s Urban Development programme. Discussion had already been held with Minister Patali Champika Ranawaka in this connection. Steps would be taken to establish a national school in Colombo Central area. An access road to Colombo Fort would be built from the Kelaniya bridge through the Colombo Port area. The government would also launch a city beautification programme in Colombo. It was being done to benefit all people rather than a selected few. The Prime Minister said the city could not be spruced up if residents did not possess houses of their own. So they should all strive hard to ensure a convincing victory for the UNP at the forthcoming local elections both at the Colombo Municipal Council but also other councils in the rest of the country it was important for people to vote for the UNP at the forthcoming election in order to steer the country on the correct path.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said when the government came to power the Mahinda Rajapaksa group expected the government to fall. But, the government devoted the last two years to stabilise itself. Now, it was now marching forward with great strength. The economy had been strengthened and the country’s international image had been stabilised by winning over the confidence of foreign nations and governments.

The UNP had appointed very active and promising organisers for the Colombo Central Electorate in Parliamentarian Mujibur Rahman and Fairooz Haji. They were conducting their work efficiently offering great strength to the party. This has resulted in a large number of people flocking round the party.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said people who voted for the UNP may have personal hopes and aspirations. Every effort would be made to fulfil their hopes and aspirations and resolve their problems. Justice would be done to party supporters who had been subjected to political victimisation by raising their issues at Cabinet level.More jobs will be created for youth.

While thanking the UNP membership and supporters who rendered dedicated service to ensure the party’s victory at the forthcoming elections, the Prime Minister said the party would never lose track of late President Ranasinghe Premadasa’s vision of providing houses to the country’s homeless people.

Prime Minister Wickremesinghe said the benefits of the good work rendred by the government would not be felt instantly, as it would take a little time to filter down to the people.

Parliamentarian S.M. Marikkar, Colombo Central UNP Co-organiser Fairooz Haji and Jathika Sevaka Sangamaya Media Secretary Sunil de Silva were also present.