The creation of prosperity to the majority of the people who cannot purely rely on market-based solutions requires connectivity through roads, electricity, telecommunications, information technology and education and health services.
Hence, the development strategy relies not only on promoting investments on infrastructure based on commercial and economic returns but also on the creation of equitable access to such infrastructure development to enable people to engage in gainful economic activities.
Road construction under Uthuru Vasanthaya. File photo
Towards this end, providing electricity to all, popularizing mobile usage among all people, establishing Nanasala (IT centers) in remote villages and developing the rural and agricultural road network (Maga Neguma) have made a revolutionary transformation in the rural economy.
Rural irrigation projects
Providing benefits through wider networking is supported by equally important rural centric development programersí such as rural irrigation projects, community water supply projects, storage and marketing facilities and financing and credit facilities etc.
The Mahinda Chinthana philosophy is such that the empowering people must move hand-in-hand with the development in family values as well as vulnerabilities of women, children, and elderly are contained. It also places greater emphasis on the uplift of moral values and liberating people from using narcotics and drugs (Mathata Thitha).
This holistic approach will enable the entire society to reach new heights in their overall living standards.
Sri Lanka, as a member state of the United Nations and signatory to the 2000 Millennium Development Goals (MDGS) remains committed to the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals. The Sri Lanka development policy framework clearly targeting to achieve the MDGS. It has also recognized and committed to achieve the following goals.
* Eradication of hunger and hard-core poverty.
* Universalization of secondary education for all.
* Reducing malnutrition rate of children from third to 12 - 15 percent.
* Increasing life expectancy from 76 to 80 years.
* Increasing access to clean water in urban areas from 65 to 90 percent.
* Raising forest coverage from 28 to 43 percent.
These are to be attained through rapid economic growth and change in the structure of the economic to a modern, environmentally friendly and well connected rural - urban economy that can create better - remunerated employment opportunities. Therefore, it targeted to,
* Maintain an average economic growth of over eight percent per annum to increase per capital income by 2016 to above USD 4000.
* Investment to be increased to 33 - 35 percent of GDP with commitment of public investment.
* To grow at twice the rate of GDP.
* High spending tourism to grow in order to generate fourfold expansion in tourist earnings and remittances inflows, based on skill to in double.
* The share of rural employment to decline from about two - third to half.
* The share of urban population to increase from quarter to third.
The economic framework of the country, it has recognized that private sector has to play major role for the development process in order to attain the projected goals and therefore much emphasis has been drawn to encourage private sector to get their contribution of 22 percent of GDP for the 2010 - 2011 period. Mobilizing foreign direct investment, privatize investment carefully, diversify the pattern of finance, improve the management and sustain ability of investment, vibrant financial service and capital market, macroeconomic policy direction are the other policy steps that have been taken to achieve the growth target for the period of 2010 - 2016.
The Mahinda Chinthana - vision for the future is designed to transform each of the provincial landscape and to ensure that every household in Sri Lanka will equally benefit from economic development. The government regional development plan is implemented under the themes of each province as,
Rajarata Navodaya - for the Anuradhapura and Polonnaruwa districts
Kandurata Navodaya - for the Kandy, Matale and Nuwara-Eliya districts
Pubudamu Wellassa - for the Badulla and Moneragala districts
Sabaragamuwa Arunalokaya - for the Kegalle and Rathnapura districts
Uturu Vasantaya - for the Kilinochchi, Jaffna, Mannar - Vavuniya and
Negenahira Navodaya - for the Trincomalee, Batticaloa and Ampara districts
Wayamba Pubuduwa - Kurunegala and Puttalam districts
Ruhunu Udanaya - Galle, Matara and Hambantota districts
Ran Aruna - Development for the Gampaha, Kalutara and Colombo Districts in the Western Province. Ran Aruna development program is the biggest project and once the development project is completed, Colombo city will be among one of the most developed cities in the region and as well as in the Asia.
Major development initiatives
Sri Lanka has placed lot of emphasis on the involvement of the people in designing and implementing the regional development policies. Human resources development is one of the major development initiatives of the each development plan. Other development initiatives are infrastructure development, economic development and development of rural economy.
Detailed micro planning related to these development initiatives is undertaken with the provincial council, local authorities, District Secretariats, Divisional Secretariats and land agencies at the decentralized levels of activity.
Before sum up, it is worth to note again, Sri Lanka is the country with endless beauty. Tropical beaches of Sri Lanka are the most beautiful beaches in the world and captivated visitors for centuries. It has become as industry as tourism merely the reason of its marvel. Once the country is developed as planned way, real marvel can again be seen.
Once the vision for the future; the development plan for the country 2010 - 2016 become reality, all the people of country have electricity, telecommunication facility, benefit modern education and knowledge system, health facilities, drinking water etc and also they are benefited of the facility of modern media net work, Ports, Airports, Irrigation systems and the natural beauty that the Sri Lanka inherited were preserved, greenest Island of the world will be i maged, as wonder of Asia. That is all our hope.