1.8 m families already benefitted
Seven categories of families eligible
Payments to be completed today

The Government has spent Rs.15 billion to pay a Rs. 5,000 allowance to nearly three million low-income earning families for the Sinhala and Tamil New Year.

The payment of this special New Year allowance commenced on April 11. The allowance had been paid to 1.8 million families by yesterday (15) and the Government has taken action to complete the payment of the allowance to all eligible recipients by today (16).

This initiative was mooted at the request of the Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Poverty Alleviation, former Minister Basil Rajapaksa on the instructions of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa.

Former Minister Basil Rajapaksa had suggested that this allowance should be paid as a solution to the economic difficulties faced by low income earners during the Sinhala and Tamil New Year season.

Families belonging to seven categories will receive this benefit. They are Samurdhi recipient families, families identified as low income earners, families receiving old age allowance, families receiving disability allowance, families receiving kidney allowance, families receiving the centenarian allowance and families who become eligible on appeal qualify to receive this allowance.

Some persons or families may belong to several categories but each family will receive only one allowance of Rs. 5,000.

The Government has paid the allowance of Rs. 5,000 to eligible persons on several occasions last year during the lockdown as a relief measure for the people economically affected by the COVID 19 pandemic.

Meanwhile, State Minister Shehan Semasinghe said that an allowance of Rs. 5,000 will be given to low-income earners in the Muslim community who are fasting upto Ramadan.“There is no deadline as such to receive this benefit. Those who have gone to visit relatives and attend to other matters out of their area of residence can meet the relevant Samurdhi officers on their return and obtain the allowance,” the State Minister added. “All the funds for this programme have already been allocated and all eligible persons and families will get it.”