By Sandun A Jayasekera
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa yesterday instructed the Presidential Task Force (PTF)set up to monitor the provision of essential services amid the COVID-19 infection to make a once and for all payment of Rs.5,000 to low income families to ease their financial difficulties.
In a host of more financial and material benefits granted to low income and vulnerable families and individuals, the President has also recommended the payment of an allowance of Rs. 5,000 to 84,071 disabled persons and 35,229 newly registered disabled persons.
A circular issued by Presidential Secretary Dr. P. B. Jayasundara on the concessions granted by the President says that Secretaries of Ministries of the Finance, Economic and Policy Development and Public Administration, Home Affairs, Provincial Councils and Local Government and all District and Divisional Secretaries must ensure that these newly announce relief measures reach the most vulnerable families
This relief programme will continue until the virus is eradicated from Sri Lanka.
Dr. Jayasundara said he had been instructed by the President to direct all District and Divisional Secretaries to take measures to provide essential food items to the doorstep at concessionary prices.
Following are the concessions to be paid:
Rs.5,000 each to all 416,764 senior citizens and to the recently registered 142,345 senior citizens.
To 160,675 farmers who are registered under the Farmers’ Insurance Scheme will also receive an allowance of Rs.5000 each.
An allowance of Rs. 5,000 will be paid to 25,320 kidney patients and 13,850 newly registered patients.
Thriposha and other nutritional supplements will be delivered directly to the residences of expectant mothers and families with malnourished children
Rs.5,000 each to all 1,798,655 Samurdhi recipients and to the recently registered 600,339 Samurdhi recipients by the Samurdhi Bank / Samurdhi Authority.
Pensions to 645,179 public officers. Steps will be taken to pay the April salary to 1,500,000 public servants and loan payment deductions from salaries to be suspended until further notice.
Relief on lease installments to 1,500,000 self-employed persons, including owners of three-wheelers, trucks and school buses.
Relief will be provided to the private businesses that are unable to pay employees’ wages due to the prevailing economic hardships.
Those who do not belong to the above mentioned categories, but could be identified as at risk, will receive similar relief. This identification process will be conducted under the supervision of Public Health Inspectors, Social Services, Development, Samurdhi Development, Agricultural Research Development and Family Health Service Officers and District Secretaries.
Dr. Jayasundara said he had been instructed by the President to direct all District and Divisional Secretaries to take measures to provide essential food items to the doorstep at concessionary prices