The low income vulnerable families have been granted a host of financial and material benefits in the face of the COVID-19 outbreak.
President Gotabaya Rajapaksa has instructed the Presidential Task Force established to administer essential services to grant these low-income families Rs. 5000/= as a single payment which will ease their financial burden.
The circular detailing the relief measures and the manner in which they are to be implemented was issued by the Presidentâ€™s Secretary Dr. P.B. Jayasundara.
The circular was issued to the Secretaries of the Economic and Policy Development Ministry and Public Administration, Home Affairs and Provincial Councils and Local Government Ministry, all District and Divisional Secretaries.
This relief package will be granted until the Coronavirus has been eradicated from this country.
The Presidentâ€™s Secretary in his circular noted that the most vital factor in this priority programme is that the peopleâ€™s lives should function without any hindrance.
The Presidential Task Force has identified that due to the impact of the Coronavirus the social groups engaged in daily economic processes should be included in the primary structure.
Dr. Jayasundara noted that the President had instructed measures to be taken to provide all essential food items and other essentials to the peopleâ€™s homes at concessionary prices and the District Secretaries and Divisional Secretaries have been notified of this presidential order.
The following are the declared concessions and the eligible groups, according to Presidentâ€™s Media Division.
- Measures have been taken to pay Rs.5,000 each to all 416,764 senior citizen allowance recipients and to the recently registered 142,345 senior citizens.
- An allowance of Rs. 5,000 will be provided to 84,071 disabled persons and 35,229 newly registered disabled persons.
- A total of 160,675 farmers who are registered under the Farmersâ€™ 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.
- Measures have been taken to provide 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.
- Payment of the pensions to 645,179 public officers.
- Steps will be taken to pay the April salary for 1,500,000 Public Sector employees and loan payment deductions from salaries to be suspended until further notice.
- Relief on lease instalments for 1,500,000 self-employed persons, including owners of three-wheelers, trucks, school buses and vans and self-employed motorists.
- Reliefs will be provided for the private businesses that are not in a position to pay employeesâ€™ wages due to the prevailing economic hardships.
Those not coming under the above categories but still faces hardships, will also be granted relief. This process will be carried out under the supervision of the Public Health Officers, Social Service personnel, Samurdhi Development, Agriculture Research Development and Family Health Services Officers and District Secretaries.
The Presidentâ€™s Secretary clearly states in his circular that the District and Divisional Secretaries should directly get involved in the distribution of food and essential items to the public. In addition they have been advised to purchase the paddy harvest of the farmers, omitting the middlemen, through the Sathosa, Cooperative and private trade networks.
Dr. Jayasundara also specifies in his circular that all officers should act in line with the advice and directives of the Presidential Task Force.