$28,000 one-off grant for pensioners – President Ali announces
His Excellency, Dr Mohamed Irfaan Ali on Thursday announced an additional $28,000 one-off cash grant for each old-age pensioner before the end of the year.
The one-off grant will provide an additional $1.8 billion in disposable income to the nation’s pensioners.
In a special address to the nation, President Ali said this new measure adds to the host of measures, policies and programmes being implemented by the PPP/C Administration to improve the lives of senior citizens.
“To our senior citizens, I wish to say that the government will continue to respect and honor the service you have given to our country over the years as we continue to take all the steps necessary to ensure that the quality of life you enjoy, continue to improve in every regard,” President Ali said.
Since the government assumed office in August 2020, old age pension was increased from $22,500 to 25,000, and from 25,000 to 28,000 in 2022.
“Cumulatively, this amounts to more than 36 per cent increase granted in two years and place a total of approximately $22 billion in the hands of our old age pensioners annually,” President Ali said.
In 2021, a one-off grant of $25,000 was paid to pensioners, which placed an additional amount of $1.6 billion in the hands of pensioners.
Beyond these measures, the water subsidy for old age pensioners was also introduced, providing an additional disposable income of $200 million to 27,000 pensioners.
Moreover, President Ali said a number of interventions were made to make it easier for pensioners to access their entitlements by providing alternative payment venues. Special arrangements were also made for shut-in residents, including persons living with disabilities and persons who do not have close access to the post office.
In addition, the nation’s seniors continue to benefit from the across-the-board investments by the government, particularly to improve the public healthcare system. These include the construction and upgrade of a number of first-class hospitals and regional health centres, and improved and increased availability of drugs.
The head of state is optimistic that the additional support announced by the government will go a far away in helping the pensioners.