The Cabinet has approved several proposals made by Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa to seek required funds to pay the Rs. 5,000 allowance for Samurdhi beneficiaries and other families with financial difficulties, Co-cabinet spokesman, Information and Communication Minister Dr. Bandula Gunawardane said. The Minister was speaking at a media briefing held yesterday at the Government Information Department to announce Cabinet decisions.

Dr. Gunawardane said the Samurdhi fund is not sufficient and an additional amount of Rs.16,000 million is required to pay the Rs 5,000 allowance for May. Cabinet approval has been granted to obtain a short term loan from a bank with the Samurdhi fund kept as surety.

The Minister noted that the government had spent more than Rs. 50,000 million to pay the allowance for the April and May. He added that Rs. 25.72 billion has been allocated to pay the allowance for May.

He said the Rs. 5,000 allowance was disbursed in a very transparent manner among needy persons.


Commenting on the letter to the President’s Secretary by the Election Commission Chairman asking him to reconsider the payment of Rs 5,000 for June, Minister Gunawardane said the government is not in a position to pay the allowance for June due to the election law. He said that the Cabinet of Ministers had decided not to pay the Rs. 5000 allowance paid to families who have lost their daily income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In his letter the Election Commissioner informed that the Commission received several complaints from political parties, civil society organizations and the public claiming the allowance has become politicised.