Wednesday, August 3, 2011

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Government to go ahead with Samurdhi pension scheme

  • Wednesday, August 3, 2011
  • Aruntha Kanagaratnam
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  • Economic Development Deputy Minister Laksman Yapa Abeywardena stated that the decision taken by the government under the Mahinda Chinthana Future Vision to launch a pension scheme for Samurdhi Development Officers will not be changed.

    Minister
    Laksman Yapa

    Certain Samurdhi Development Officers’ Unions have made statements to the media that this pension scheme is going to be stopped.

    However the cabinet paper is ready and Economic Development Minister Basil Rajapaksa is going to present it for cabinet approval in the near future.

    Over 23,000 Samurdhi Development Officers will be entitled for this pension, he said.

    The Samurdhi programme was started in 1995 with the aim of alleviating poverty and the government has taken measures to extend Samurdhi poverty alleviation programme to Kilinochchi, Mannar and Mullaitivu districts and other areas as well.

    The minister was addressing a special press briefing held at the Information Department, yesterday.

    According to the minister poverty in Sri Lanka has dropped.

    In the year 2000 it was 24 percent and now it had reduced by 16.5 percent.

    In the year 2000 there were 1.9 million Samurdhi beneficiaries and at present it is 1.5 million. There are 1,742 Samurdhi Bank branches established islandwide and over Rs.32,000 million have been deposited in these branches. Their interest rates too have been reduced.

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