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* New pension Scheme for Sri Lankan farmers to be launched today
Tue, Jan 28, 2014, 01:10 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Jan 28, Colombo: Sri Lankan President Mahinda Rajapaksa today will launch a new pension scheme for Sri Lankan farmers who are over 60 years of age.

About 1,500 farmers representing all districts will receive pensions at a ceremony held in Hambantota International Conference Hall under the patronage of the President.

The farmers' pension scheme will be implemented in accordance with the proposal made by the President in the 2014 budget.

The government has established a fund for the pension scheme and annually the government will contribute Rs. 1 billion to this fund. Contributions from the farmers and a part of the profit from the farmers' pension scheme will also be contributed to the fund.

According to the Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Dr. B.M.S. Batagoda the farmers will benefit more from the new scheme. It would raise the living standards of the farmers countrywide and give them extra benefits over the old scheme.

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.

The cabinet has granted its approval for the scheme, Dr. Batagoda said.

According to the official, 959,254 farmers island wide have contributed to the scheme and 128,659 farmers out of this number are eligible to receive the pension.

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