Agrahara Insurance benefits for over 600,000 State sector pensioners | Daily News


 

Agrahara Insurance benefits for over 600,000 State sector pensioners

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa addressing several meetings in the Badulla district pledged to implement a series of measures which would immensely benefit the public, including Agrahara Insurance benefits to all state sector pensioners, separate wards for them in government hospitals and a daily wage of Rs 1,000 plus to plantation workers and a higher price for locally grown potatoes.

The Prime Minister said that Cabinet approval has been granted to provide Agrahara Insurance Scheme benefits all state sector pensioners numbering over 600,000.

Under the system that was conducted earlier only 10% of the state sector pensioners received Agrahara Insurance Scheme as it included only the retired employees after January 1, 2016. Under the latest Cabinet decision it will include around 600,000 pensioners including those who retired before 2016.

He said the Cabinet approved to dedicate a separate ward for public sector retirees in every government regional hospital.

The Prime Minister meanwhile also promised to provide permanent houses to plantation sector workers and solve the existing housing issues.

Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa affirmed that he will intervene and facilitate to increase the daily wage of estate workers to Rs 1,000. Two rounds of discussions have been held with estate owners regarding the above matter.

Accordingly, further discussions will be held with the estate owners and steps will be taken to increase the daily wage of estate workers.

Prime Minister Rajapaksa also said that the name ‘Ceylon Tea ‘will be taken to the world as the finest tea with a leading brand.

The Premier also recalled the service rendered by the late CWC leader Arumugam Thondaman and the voice he raised on behalf of the estate sector workers.

Speaking further he said that the government is hoping to increase employment opportunities by setting up private and government factories in the Badulla district.

Furthermore, he added that so far estate houses were given only to estate workers. However, in future steps will be taken to provide houses for all the people who have their names registered in the Electoral Register living in the estate areas.

The Prime Minister also affirmed that relief will be provided to local potato farmers in order to assure a higher price for their products.

In order to provide a higher price for the produce of local potato farmers, a tax of Rs 50 was imposed on a kilo of imported potato.

He added that steps will be taken to expand the local market to uplift local potato farmers. Furthermore, the Prime Minister said the previous government was only driven by political vengeance and none of the development projects was taken forward. He also recalled that the only objective of the previous government was to sell national resources.

Discussions will be held with India to export pepper and other agricultural products and to restabilize the price of agrarian products.

“Due to the vengeful activities carried by the previous government, development stalled during the last five years. The development that was done from 2004 to 2015 was halted. We are hoping to carry out all the projects that came to a standstill in every region in the future,” he added.

Prime Minister Rajapaksa also requested the citizens to cast their votes for the ‘Pohottuwa’ to get the country out of the turmoil it was placed in by the previous Government and get it back on the right track.


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