An Avurudu and Ramadan bonanza for low-income families | Daily News

An Avurudu and Ramadan bonanza for low-income families

The Government decided to provide an allowance of Rs. 5,000 during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year to the low-income and Samurdhi families affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. Such an allowance was offered for several months during the lockdown period last year as well.

This is an initiative of the Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival headed by former Minister Basil Rajapaksa.

The provision of the Rs. 5,000 allowance to the affected families resumed yesterday, following a circular issued by the Prime Minister’s Office.

According to the circular issued by the Secretary to the Prime Minister, the selection of beneficiary families will be done under the following categories.

Those eligible for the allowance include:

1. Samurdhi beneficiary families

2. Low-income earning families

3. Families comprising recipients of the Elders’ Allowance

4. Families comprising kidney patients who receive allowances

5. Families comprising centenarians who receive the Elders’ Allowance and

6. Families that have filed appeals and are eligible under any of the aforementioned categories.

The circular states that the allowance will be paid to one beneficiary family only under one category.

Although registered under one household number in the electoral roll, in addition to the main family unit of that household-based unit, payments will also be made for families living as sub families.

Accordingly, the government has taken steps to provide the allowance to four million families including 1,700,000 Samurdhi recipient families, 780,000 families on the Samurdhi waiting list, 726,000 families who have filed appeals, 626,000 families receiving the elders’ allowance, 123,000 families receiving the disability allowance and 44,000 families who have kidney patients and to families who have lost their livelihood based on the recommendations of the Rural Committees and the Divisional Secretaries.

The government has decided to provide this allowance of Rs. 5,000 to Samurdhi and low income families affected by the Covid epidemic in view of the Sinhala and Tamil New Year, State Minister of Samurdhi, Home Economy, Micro Finance, Self-Employment and Business Development Shehan Semasinghe, told the Daily News.

This allowance is being granted on the instructions of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa on a request made by Government Members of Parliament.

The Presidential Task Force on Economic Revival and Poverty Alleviation and the Department of Samurdhi Development are jointly implementing this programme to provide the allowance to the families identified at the Grama Niladhari Divisional level.

Samurdhi Officers have been requested to take steps to expedite the provision of this allowance during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year period. Director-General of Samurdhi Development Authority Bandula Thilakasiri said handing over the allowance was halted temporarily on April 14 for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year. According to reports, nearly, 1.8 million families have already received the allowance. An estimated number of 2.8 million families are expected to benefit from this programme which commenced on April 11.

Meanwhile, State Minister Shehan Semasinghe said low-income families who are on Ramadan fasting will also receive the Rs.5,000 cash allowance. The programme will be completed in a couple of days, he said.

Our photographers captured these pictures of the granting of the allowance to beneficiaries in various parts of the country.