Based on an investigation by a committee of experts on the impact of the COVID-19 Virus to the basic economy Cabinet approval has been granted for the President to introduce a new economic package.
The President has granted the authority to the Secretary of the Ministry of Finance to bear required costs.
Cabinet approval has been given to pay arrears to national suppliers and contractors who had carried out government contracts in the year 2019.
At the same time a sum of Rs. 10 billion has been allocated to pay arrears due by the government to private institutions for pharmaceuticals.
Rs. 5 billion has been allocated to settle payment arrears of small and medium scale contractors.
At the same time steps have been taken to allocate Rs. 3 billion through this new economic package on behalf of small tea estate owners who have suffered losses due to dry weather.
Four fields directly impacted as a result of the Corona Virus have been identified; they are tourism, textiles garments, foreign employees and small scale enterprises, Minister Bandula Gunawardena said.
A new program for daily wage workers has been approved at the Cabinet meeting held yesterday.
In order to provide relief to such people, steps have been taken to reduce the maximum retail price of a kilo of dhal to Rs.65 and steps have been taken to sell the maximum retail price of a canned fish for Rs. 100.
Steps have also been taken to reduce the prices of big onions.
In addition to these relief measures, an additional Rs. 500 million has been allocated for the Coronavirus Prevention Program.
(Courtesy: Hiru News)