The Social Security programme will be expanded for the benefit of every citizen. Those serving in the private sector and the self-employed are also to be made contributors to the programme at the regional level.
Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka said that the granting of pensions to all,/ based on the Mahinta Chintana , is afoot. Some are self-employed and are not entitled to a pension. Many experience difficulties in society without protection. Such people should be ensured protection. The Premier underscored the need to raise awareness about their protection. He commended them for the contributions they make.
The Prime Minister made these observations joining in the presentation of awards and certificates to those who dedicated their services to enhance the contribution to the social security pensions programme. District Secretaries, Divisional Secretaries, District field officers and Grama Niladharis received awards. The Sri Lanka Social Security Board was established in 1996 with a far-sighted vision to provide social security to self-employed persons during their old age and disability. In 2006, the scheme was implemented under the theme Pensions For All . The total number involved in this pensions scheme exceeds 250,000.
In his address, Minister Douglas Devananda said they have estimated that there are about two million persons who are self-employed in the informal sector. They are not covered by any social security protection. They are also witnessing an increase in trend of the elderly population in the country. The Minister said they had enlarged the scope of the Social Security Board and devised new schemes to ensure social security for most of the neglected segments.
Special awards were presented to Minister Douglas Devananda, Deputy Minister Lionel Premasiri and Ministery Secretary V. Jegarajasingham for their dedication to implementing the social security scheme. North Central Chief Minister Berty Premalal Dissanayake and Social Security Board Chairman Sarath Keerthiratne were present.