Wednesday, 25 March 2020 09:14

President pledges relief and concessions package for public, economy

President Gotabaya Rajapaksa with the powers vested in him directed a number of relief measures to people undergoing various hardships due to the prevailing situation brought on by the Coronavirus. All these concessions will come into effect with immediate effect.

The President has directed the Governor of Central Bank of Sri Lanka, the secretaries of all ministries, chief secretaries of all provincial councils and the heads of all banks, financial institutions and leasing companies to take the appropriate steps accordingly.

These relief measures are as following:

1. To extend until 30 April, 2020 all payments on income and VAT taxes, driving license renewal fees; all bills on water and electricity, assessment taxes, and bank cheques valued less than Rs 15,000; and repayment of all credit cards below the limit Rs. 50,000.

2. A six month moratorium on the leasing loan installments of all three-wheelers.

3. A moratorium on loan installments until 30 May, 2020 from salaries of all public and private (except board of directors) sector employees.

4. A three month moratorium on all personal bank and leasing loan installments of value less than Rs. 1 million.

5. The March trainee allowance of Rs 20,000 of all graduates selected for employment will be deposited into their respective bank accounts.

6. To double the Agrahara Insurance benefits for all health, police, civil defense and all government servants engaged in controlling the spread of the COVID19.

7. A six month debit moratorium on tourism, garment and small & medium industries and for Central Bank of Sri Lanka to re-evaluate the finances.

8. Bank of Ceylon, People’s Bank, National Savings Bank, Sri Lanka Insurance Corporation, Employee Provident Fund, Employee’s Trust Fund to jointly invest in the treasury bonds and bills to stabilize the money market at 7% interest rate.

9. A 15% interest rate of credit cards for domestic transactions of value up to Rs. 50,000.00 and the minimum monthly charge to be reduced by 50%.

10. All bank branches to provide their full services to customers when curfew is not in effect.

11. Sri Lanka Ports, Customs and other related institutions to release without any interruption to relevant entities food and essentials such as fertilizers, medicines and fuel.

12. To provide interest free loans of Rs. 10,000 to Samurdhi recipients and Samurdhi card holders through all Samurdhi Bank Associations.

13. To exempt Lanka Sathosa and Co-operative shops from VAT and other local taxes and charges.

14. Samurdhi Authority to issue title certificates to Samurdhi and low income families immediately for issuing nutritional food items to low income families. They should be provided with rice, lentils, onions and food cards on weekly basis.

On the orders of the President, the Secretary to the President directed all relevant officials to implement these decisions with immediate effect.

(Daily News)

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