Feb 08, Colombo: A farmers' association in Sri Lanka says that only a few farmers have received the pension, which the government promised to re-commence in January 2014.
The All Ceylon Farmers' Federation said the President in his 2014 Budget speech had promised to re-commence the stalled farmers' pension scheme from January 25th this year. However, the Association noted that the pension payment has not reached a majority of the farmers even after the first week of February.
National Organizer of the Federation, Namal Karunaratne said that only 30 farmers have received the pension payment and that they were given this benefit at a ceremony in Hambantota held under the patronage of the President.
He said that the rest of the farmers eligible for the pension have not received the benefit.
Karunaratne said the government has claimed that Rs.1 billion has been allocated for the payment of pensions 128,600 farmers.
The government has established a fund for the pension scheme, implemented in accordance with the proposal made by the President in the 2014 budget. Annually the government will contribute Rs. 1 billion to this fund.
Farmers over 60 years will receive a monthly pension of Rs.1,000 and the farmers over 78 years will be paid a monthly allowance of Rs.5,000. Under the new pension scheme about 128,000 farmers over 63 years will receive benefits from this month.
"However, it seems like the farmers have been given a false promise once again," farmers' representative said.