President Ranil Wickremesinghe on Tuesday said that the Interim Budget includes provisions for strengthening social safety net programmes.

"Rs. 133 billion has been allocated under the World Bank loan assistance for the implementation of programs with the view of reducing the impact of the current economic crisis and restoring social stability.

Accordingly, I have obtained approval through the Supplementary Estimate presented to Parliament before presenting this budget to provide immediate relief to around 3.2 million people affected by the current economic situation.

Under this, monthly Samurdhi allowance has been increased to an amount ranging between Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 7,500 per month for approximately 1.7 million currently Samurdhi receiving families.

Apart from that, an assistance of Rs. 5,000 was provided per month temporarily to around 726,000 families who were in the waiting list for expecting Samurdhi benefits.

 

Also, the allowance paid for the elderly, disabled, and kidney patients was increased to an amount ranging between Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 7,500. Further, the temporary assistance of Rs. 5,000 was arranged for the people who are in the waiting lists in anticipation of receiving this assistance.

 

I also propose to provide additional monthly allowance of Rs. 2,500 for pregnant mothers in addition to Rs. 20,000 already provided for them.

It has been reported that there are about 61,000 food insecure families, which need urgent assistance. I will provide Rs. 10,000 per family for a period of further four months," the president said.