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Minister Ranatunga Criticizes Past Housing Policies Under Opposition Leader Premadasa

July 11, Colombo (LNW): Urban Development and Housing Minister Prasanna Ranatunga informed Parliament yesterday (10 July) that housing loans were distributed haphazardly during the tenure of Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa as Housing Minister. He stated that officials are struggling to locate the correct addresses of some loan recipients.

Minister Ranatunga highlighted that from 2015 to 2019, when Premadasa was Housing Minister, over 100,000 houses were initiated without proper funding and were subsequently abandoned. He attributed this crisis to contracts for more houses than allocated funds, intended to showcase an inflated housing construction record.

In response to allegations from Premadasa, Ranatunga noted that the loans of 53,709 beneficiaries granted during Premadasa’s tenure had to be restricted. He detailed that seven housing projects were initiated during Premadasa’s period as Housing Minister. In 2019 alone, 62,994 houses were started despite funding being allocated for only 40,500 houses.

From 2015 to 2019, Premadasa initiated the construction of 341,510 houses, but only 233,578 houses received the necessary provisions. An inspection revealed that 53,709 housing loan recipients during Premadasa’s tenure were ineligible for the loans they received.

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