The Government is to obtain a short term loan of Rs 16 billion on behalf of the Department of Samurdhi Development in order to secure additional funds for the payment of the Rs 5,000 allowance for the month of May to low income families whose livelihoods have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Cabinet was informed this week that the government has spent between Rs 25 to Rs 30 billion in April to provide the Rs.5000 allowance for low income people and expects to provide 5,144,046 persons with the allowance in May 2020.
Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa who is also Minister of Finance informed Cabinet that Rs.25.7 billion will be spent in May for this purpose
“The Prime Minister drew the attention of the Cabinet of Ministers regarding funding for this. The Cabinet of Ministers discussed obtaining a short loan on behalf of the Department of Samurdhi Development to secure additional funds of Rs. 16,000 million (Rs. 16B) and to authorize the Secretary to the Treasury to carry out related activities, “ Cabinet spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardena said.
The Government has also decided to suspend the payment of the Rs 5,000 allowance from the month of June following letter sent by the Election Commission requesting not to politicize the process.