The freehold title awarding programme ‘Urumaya’ is an important democratic investment for the future of the economy, said former finance minister and UNP leader for Colombo Ravi Karunanayake.
The programme also establishes public participation in economic upliftment as the economy is gradually coming out of its worst ever crisis, he said.
Also a former finance minister, Karunanayake was briefing the media about ‘Urumaya’ that was launched in Dambulla yesterday (05) under the patronage of president Ranil Wickremesinghe.
The programme will help more than two million people who have not had freehold titles for their land for decades, he said.
Freehold titles will raise their personal assets and encourage savings, with the result that the economy inherits billions of rupees of worth, according to Karunanayake.
He said post-independence Sri Lanka did not have a proper programme to award freehold titles.
Karunanayake recalled that the late D.S. Senanayake as the then agriculture minister launched Minneriya farming settlement to vest state land in the public.
Further, the UNP regime in 2002 planned legal ownership of land in farming colonies and those belonging to the poor, he said.
When it regained power in 2015, implementation of the plan was included in the budget, but the then opposition opposed it to deny the public’s entitlement to freehold titles, said Karunanayake.
Now as the president, Ranil Wickremesinghe has allotted Rs. two billion to realize full land ownership for the people, he added.
Privatization that has been portrayed as a beast becomes a fabrication by this, he said, adding the people now have the opportunity to stand on their feet.
It is now up to them to decide how to make use of their land as an investment, he added.