No change in Special Interest Scheme for Senior Citizens | Daily News


Prime Minister reassures

No change in Special Interest Scheme for Senior Citizens

Inaccurate reports politically motivated
Govt appreciates contribution of senior citizens to economy

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, who is also Minister of Finance, yesterday categorically stated that there will be no reduction of interest for Senior Citizens’ Accounts.

Addressing a gathering in the South, Prime Minister Rajapaksa rejected reports in several media outlets that the Government has taken a decision to reduce the high interest rates for accounts of senior citizens.

“As Finance Minister, I should have been the first to know if such a move was afloat. Therefore, I was really surprised to read about such a purported move by the Government in a newspaper and immediately inquired from the Treasury Secretary, who reassured me that no such decision has been taken at any level of the Government,” the Prime Minuster said.

He said such mischievous and inaccurate reports are being circulated by certain media outlets and Opposition political parties with the aim of affecting the SLPP’s electoral fortunes on August 5.

“There is no change in this programme. It will continue uninterrupted.”

Higher Education, Technology, Innovation and Information & Mass Media Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardena also dismissed reports that the Government had withdrawn the income tax concessions given to senior citizens on interest income.

“The Government has not taken such a decision and the new Government has increased the tax-free monthly interest income of Rs.150,000 up to Rs.250,00 with effect from January, 1, 2O2O.

Accordingly, income up to Rs. 3,000,000 per year has been exempted from tax. Therefore, the tax exemption granted on interest income has not been abolished as stated in the above article.”

He went on to elaborate that the programme “Special Interest Scheme for Senior Citizens” has been implemented since 2014 with the aim of safeguarding the income status of senior citizens who have dedicated their youth to the development of the country.

“No amendment has been made to this benefit designed for senior citizens and the program continues as usual.”

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