Finance Minister announces New Year bonanza

Finance Minister announces New Year bonanza

Finance Minister Basil Rajapaksa today announced a New Year bonanza which includes a special allowance of Rs. 5,000 per month for all Government employees.

The announcement was made after the Cabinet met this evening for its weekly Cabinet discussion.

The Finance Minister said that he was instructed by the President and Prime Minister to offer some relief to the public.

As a result, Rajapaksa said that Cabinet decided to pay a special allowance of Rs. 5,000 per month to all Government employees with effect from January 2022.

The Finance Minister also said that Government pensioners and disabled armed forces personnel will also receive a special monthly allowance of Rs. 5,000.

He also said that the monthly allowance granted to Samurdhi beneficiaries will be increased to Rs. 4,500 with effect from January.

Rajapaksa also said that essential food items, including dhal, big onions, potatoes and sugar, and also medical drugs will be exempted from all taxes.

The Finance Minister said that paddy will be purchased from farmers at Rs. 75 per kilo but the additional cost will not be passed to the consumer.

A special allowance of Rs. 5,000 will also be paid to farmers engaged in home gardening on property below 20 perches while an allowance of Rs. 10,000 is to be provided for those with more than 20 perches and less than an acre of land.

Plantation sector families will also be provided relief, the Finance Minister said.

The Cabinet has also decided to appoint a Minister dedicated to each donor country and donor organization in order to discuss and seek financial assistance.

Rajapaksa said that Sri Lanka is still suffering from a dollar crisis and will require foreign assistance. (Colombo Gazette)

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