Two months worth relief grant for those who filed appeals

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Individuals who win appeals to receive the Rs 5000 relief grant, should be paid the grants for April and May, collectively by May 27, the Prime Minister’s Office has said.

“The identity of those who filed appeals should be confirmed without summoning them to offices,” Prime Minister’s Secretary Gamini Senarath said in a letter seen by media.

The letter had been addressed to district and divisional secretaries through which the relief had been granted to low income earning households.

The government had begun the distribution of the relief grant since March after livelihoods were impact following the spread of the coronavirus.

Families whose breadwinners are expatriate workers, employees of industries such as plantation and textile and low-pension earning individuals were among those considered eligible for the payout.

However, the government has said it would scrap off the grant for June, in line with the stance of the election commission, and also considering the difficulties in sourcing these funds.

“…the total (expenses incurred) for the past two months amount to approximately Rs 50 billion,” Bandula Gunawardana, a cabinet spokesman told reporters on Thursday.

The election commission had previously said that the need to issue the grant for June must be re-considered if the pandemic is controlled and people can carry out their daily activities.

Sri Lanka’s parliamentary elections were scheduled to be held on June 20 but lawyers appearing for the polls body have informed the supreme court that the election cannot be held on this date.