Monday, 23 December 2019 06:13

Smart Sri Lanka initiative becomes public money spender

The Smart Sri Lanka initiative launched by former President Maithripala Sirisena aimed at empowering youth with skills and talents to face present day challenges has failed to bring tangible results despite spending millions of rupees.

This was highlighted in an internal audit inspection which has examined the progress of 20 special projects being implemented under the Smart Sri Lanka initiative.

Eighteen additional secretaries have been appointed to oversee these 20 ‘Career Guidance’ projects implemented under the Smart Sri Lanka scheme at a total cost of Rs.500 million.

Most of these projects have been halted midway without completion, an audit inspection revealed.

A sum of around Rs. 50 million was spent for cut outs erected at prominent places countrywide for propaganda purposes, the audit query discovered.

Smart Sri Lanka Career Guidance Institute, a project implemented by the Presidential Secretariat under the guidance of the former President, has been set up with the objective of bringing together all the career development institutes and resources.

The aim was to find a sustainable solution to the issue of unemployment in Sri Lanka through a well-advanced mechanism and provide youth with the opportunity to pursue their chosen career paths.

Another objective was to provide entrepreneurial opportunities, online career information services including employment, banks, meet private career guides, upgrade career guidance services to international standards and build a nationwide network of career guidance organisations.

District Career guidance and Training Centers were declared open by the former President in six districts under Smart Sri Lanka initiative. But these have failed to bring expected results due to lack of proper planning, audit report disclosed.

The Sri Lankan Career Guidance Network was established and implemented by the President’s office.

(LI)

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