by Norman Palihawadane
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, yesterday, said that the Rs. 5,000 allowance, given to the people who had lost their daily income due to COVID-19 pandemic, would not be stopped though there had been a decision made not to pay it for the month of June, owing to opposition by some political parties.
The PM said that the government had been asked to suspend the payment owing to petitions by Opposition political parties to the Elections Commission, against paying Rs 5,000 to people who had lost their livelihoods.
“We have an opposition which goes on TV accusing the government of not doing anything for people hard hit by the pandemic while petitioning the Election Commission against us giving relief. People will soon understand their double game.”
“The Opposition wishes to see that the country goes from crisis to crisis thinking that people would vote for them instead of us. They have no feeling for the people, but are only dreaming of capturing power. So, they do everything possible, under the sun, to stop the payment. But their plans will remain only a daydream.”
The Rs 5,000 allowance for the month of May would be paid in the coming week, he said.
The Prime Minister said measures were being taken to pay Rs.25,359 million to 5,071,892 families for the month of May.
He said Rs. 3,888 million would be paid to kidney patients, disabled and elderly persons as relief for the month of May.
The recipients would be informed of the date of arrival of Samurdhi Development Officers to the villages and the allowance distributed to 100 families at a time to avoid crowding, he added.
According to a statement, on Cabinet decisions, the government expects to spend Rs. 25,720 million to provide 5,144,046 persons with the allowance in May 2020.