Sri Lankan migrant workers to get houses within six monthsView(s):
By Bandula Sirimanna
Sri Lankan domestic migrant workers are to be provided with low-cost houses built by the government within six months, officials said.
One thousand, two-roomed houses with all facilities will be built under the first phase of this programme.
The authorities will undertake the construction of these houses in accordance with the plans and location (land) of the recipients, a top official of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) told the Business Times.
Migrant workers will have to pay a loan installment of Rs.6,500 per month for five years in addition to an initial payment of Rs. 50,000, SLBFE chairman Amal Senalankadhikara said.
These workers generally earn between Rs.20,000 to Rs.25,000 per month with free board and lodging, and can afford such monthly installment, he added.
Willing workers will have to open an account with Samurdhi Banks and remit a monthly installment.
He disclosed that the value of the house is Rs. 500,000 and the migrant workers will have to bear Rs.300,000 of the cost which will be given to them as a housing loan and the balance will be borne by the authorities.
The project will be implemented under the newly formed ‘Rataviruwo’ (heroes of our economy) organization of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment in collaboration with the Samurdhi Authority, he added.
The SLBFE has placed a fixed deposit of Rs. 100 million from its own funds to cover the cost of construction of houses with the Samurdhi Bank.
The bank will provide housing loans to migrant workers identified by SLBFE to cover the cost of construction of houses over Rs.50,000 to a maximum of Rs.300,000.
Mr. Senalankadhikara said the interest on loans will be as low as 4 per cent adding that the newly formed Rataviruwo organisation will help migrant workers and their families to build houses by offering technical support, labour and other necessary assistance.
The housing programme was launched in Galgedera, Kandy on March 12th by laying a foundation stone to build a house for M.R, Ranjini, a mother of three children in Galagedera, before her departure to Saudi Arabia as a housemaid.
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