By Sandun A Jayasekera
The government has arranged to pay a Rs.5,000 stipend to all families who desperately needed assistance at this difficult time amounting to a total of Rs.7 billion.
The financial grant was mainly paid out to about 1.4 million families which included 416,764 senior citizens, 84,071 differently abled persons and 25,230 persons suffering from Chronic Kidney Disease (CKD).
The government would conclude the distribution of the 5,000 Rupee grant to all those who had been severely affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic from today (20) Health Minister Pavithradevi Wanniarachchi said.
Minister Wanniarachchi held a discussion at her office on the matter with officials on the instructions of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa.
At the discussion, it was decided that preschool teachers, private bus drivers and conductors, indigenous medical practitioners who have not registered with the Indigenous Medical Board, those engaged in hand loom and domestic industries, women living on maintenance payments, small scale tea growers and provincial journalists etc.
“At the first stage, the government paid the Rs.5,000 stipend to those who had been identified directly as those qualified for financial assistance from the government. Subsequently, the government had identified that there were thousands more who had lost their livelihoods, lost employment or their avenues of income.
Some others have been made redundant as they have lost the market for their products or are not in a position to produce due to the scarcity of raw materials. Simply, put all these groups of individuals have been been deprived of their livelihoods and are desperately in need of the government’s assistance,” Minister Wanniarachchi stressed.
To be entitled for the financial grant, they must fill a form obtained from the Grama Niladhari with the certification of the relevant Divisional Secretary and the Village Committee.
The pay list of the free grant of Rs.5,000 also includes 416,764 persons registered as senior citizens and women and another 142,345 in the waiting list have already been paid Rs.5,000 each, 84,071 identifies as differently abled and 35,229 in the waiting list have also bee paid Rs.5,000.
To be entitled for the financial grant, they must fill a form obtained from the Grama Niladhari with the certification of the relevant Divisional Secretary and the Village Committee
Under the Farmer Insurance scheme, 160, 675 individuals have been paid Rs.5, 000 each and a pack of nutritional food and Triposha has been handed over to expectant mothers.
All those paid the grant of Rs.5,000 were those who had already been registered with respective government institutions for state financial assistance. But we have also paid the grant to those who were in the waiting list and all those who deserve financial assistance based on the areas Grama Niladharies and Divisional Secretary’s approval.
The Task Force led by former Minister Basil Rajapaksa is monitoring the distribution of food, drugs, fuel and other essential commodities in the country. Mr. Rajapaksa has already instructed officials not to weaken the harvesting and cultivation of paddy, fruit and vegetables and the milling of rice by large and small scale rice mills.
He has also instructed the State Pharmaceuticals Corporation to ensure all Rajya Osusala outlets are kept open and private pharmacies to be kept open for at least 10 hours per day,” Minister Wanniarachchi said.
The curfew will not be a hindrance for the distribution of food, fuel, drugs and other essentials, she added.