Following the establishment of new Ministries after the Presidential Election held on 16th November 2019, this Ministry functioned as the State Ministry of Housing under the Ministry of Urban Development, Water Supply and Housing Facilities as per Gazette Notification No. 2158/41 dated 17.01.2020.
Subsequently, with the Parliamentary election held on 05th August 2020, the subjects of the Ministries were revised and as per the Gazette Notification No. 2187/27 published on 09.08.2020, this Ministry currently functions as the State Ministry of Rural Housing and Construction and Building Materials Industries Promotion. The Ministry included the subject of Building Materials Industries Promotion in addition to the existing scope of housing and construction. In addition, according to the Extraordinary Gazette Notification issued on 09th August 2020, the Rehabilitation and Resettlement Division, which was a Cabinet Ministry, has also been included under the purview of this Ministry.
In implementing the policy statement of the new government, ‘Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour’, the key function of implementing the national programme of providing a comfortable home for all has been entrusted to this Ministry. For that, the “Obata Geyak – Ratata Hetak” housing programme, covering all Grama Niladhari divisions with the intention of solving the housing issues of low income earners was initiated in the year 2020 simultaneously with the establishment of new ministry and was abled to continue successfully during the year 2021 as well.
Under this programme, a homeless low income family is provided with a grant of Rs.600,000 as a government grant and the house is constructed by the beneficiary family with community participation under the supervision of the National Housing Development Authority. During the year 2021, the construction of 13,222 houses was commenced island wide under this programme and out of that, 4078 houses were completed and handed over to the beneficiaries.
For the year 2021, an amount of Rs.17,202 million development provision was allocated and even amongst the COVID 19 pandemic situation, we were enabled to achieve progress of 75.9% by spending Rs.12,955 million out of that. The Government was able to provide a grant of Rs.06 lakhs in the year 2021 for the “Obata Geyak – Ratata Hetak” program and it was possible to increase that grant to Rs.6.5 lakhs in the year 2022.
For many years, the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) has been continuously implementing housing loan schemes at concessionary interest rates for families who have the interest and ability to build a new house of their own and are looking for external financial assistance to begin construction.
We were enabled to commence the ‘Siyapatha multi-storey housing programme’ initiated for constructing housing complexes consisted of 100 housing units covering all electorates island wide with the intention of solving housing issues of middle income earners in urban and semi-urban areas in accordance with the Vistas of Prosperity and Splendour policy statement and as its first phase, it has been able to commence work on three housing complexes covering the Western, Sabaragamuwa and North Central Provinces as the initial steps for the construction of one apartment each in the 9 Provinces.
The Construction Industry Development Authority implements various training programs to cater to the needs of skilled workers and professionals in the construction sector. These training programs complete both theoretical and practical aspects, and although the “Sayani” programme aimed to train 1,000 artisans by 2021, only a limited number were able to train due to the prevailing health conditions.
The “Shrama Sikuru” programme produces skilled workers with the technical know-how required for the construction industry, and by the year 2021, 2003 individuals have completed the training and joined the construction industry work sites.
In achieving the objectives stated in the National Policy Framework, as a result of the diligent efforts over the past two years to maintain the public sector statutory bodies at no cost to the General Treasury, it was enabled to convert the Building Materials Corporation Limited into a profitable entity. The National Equipment and Machinery Organization has also become self-sustaining and the State Engineering Corporation has taken steps to stabilize its existence in a very positive manner.
The scope of the Ministry has been further widened due to the merging of the Resettlement Division which was implemented for the persons displaced due to the conflicts that prevailed in Northern and Eastern provinces into this Ministry.
The Resettlement Division was entrusted under this Ministry by the extraordinary gazette notification No. 2187/27 dated 09.08.2020. This division organizes and coordinates all activities required for the resettlement of families displaced due to the conflicted situation that prevailed in Northern and Eastern provinces.
Institutions affiliated to the Ministry,
- National Housing Development Authority
- Ocean View Development Private Limited
- Middle Income Housing and Infrastructure Development Accelerated Programme
- Department of Buildings
- Department of Government Factory
- Construction Industry Development Authority
- State Engineering Corporation
- National Equipment and Machinery Organization
- Lanka Building Materials Corporation