The sum includes Rs 9 billion needed to be paid to a range of others who were laste week added to the list of beneficiaries. The Government initially offered the Rs 5,000 payment for 1.8 million Samurdhi beneficiary families and later expanded it to 600,000 families who had been placed on the waiting list as Samurdhi beneficiaries. The payments cost the government more than Rs 12 billion.
They also included elderly persons, disabled persons and kidney patients, costing the government another Rs 3.5 billion.
However, last week the list was expanded by including private bus drivers, conductors, three-wheel drivers, barbers, self-employed persons, montessori teachers and school van drivers, among others.
Meanwhile, the Government’s mechanism to distribute relief to those affected by the COVID-19 outbreak continues to be dogged by accusations of poor planning and blatant political interference linked to the upcoming parliamentary election.