The distribution of the Government’s Rs.5,000 allowance for low income families will begin covering the entire country from today (2). Around 6-6.5 million families will be eligible for this scheme.
The Government expects to spend nearly Rs.30 billion for this project, Samurdhi, Household Economy, Micro Finance, Self-Employment, Business Development and Underutilised State Resources Development State Minister Shehan Semasinghe told a media briefing yesterday. Only the low income families and those who have completely lost their income due to the pandemic will be eligible for this allowance. This is the fourth round of the allowance payment since last year.
Accordingly, Samurdhi recipients, those who receive other State allowances, low-income families, and those who have lost their sources of income due to the pandemic will be eligible to receive the allowance.
State Minister Semasinghe said the distribution of the allowance will be strictly according to the given criteria and he expects that only the eligible groups will request the allowance.
If a family currently receiving benefits under any Government subsidy scheme receives less than the current allowance of Rs.5,000, the relevant arrears will be paid under this scheme. Only one allowance per family will be given and the Samurdhi allowance paid on the seventh of every month along with the relevant arrears will be paid from today, he added.
Although the distribution of money was completed within two to three days under the last phase in 2020, this time the programme would take more than 10 days to cover the entire island due to the prevailing situation.
The State Minister added that although the fisheries community has been exempted from this scheme, fisheries families in four Divisional Secretariat Divisions who have been affected by the MV X-Press Pearl ship disaster will be given the allowance.
He requested the public to support the Government’s Rs.5,000 allowance programme and act responsibly within this period.
Addressing the media, State Minister Semasinghe said that reports available within the Divisional Secretaries will decide on who will receive the allowance of Rs. 5,000 and Divisional Committees are also authorised to determine the suitable recipients.
“Accordingly, around 6 to 6.5 million families will be receiving the allowance,” the State Minister said.
This measure is aimed at providing relief to the underprivileged communities who are facing difficulties due to the travel restrictions now in force.