UN steps in with US$ 166 mn urgent aid for tsunami relief work, including US$ 30 mn payable through cash schemes for survivors

United Nations agencies have stepped in with US$ 166 mn in urgent aid for Sri Lanka, part of which will fund a scheme to set off tax liabilities of some half a million people who have lost all paper in the recent tsunami. United Nations agencies have stepped in with US$ 166 mn in urgent aid for Sri Lanka, part of which will fund a scheme to set off tax liabilities of some half a million people who have lost all paper in the recent tsunami. A cash scheme is to be drawn up in a week, working with Inland Revenue and the UN Development Project in Colombo, Treasury Secretary Dr. P B Jayasundara said Thursday.

Jayasundara says of the US$ 166 mn aid package, around US$ 30 mn will be given out as cash grants through various district secretaries.

“For people who have lost everything and are unable to pay even their electricity bills, we are looking at ways to provide them with some financing to forgive some of those liabilities.”

About US$ 40 mn of the UN pledge will go toward settling outstanding payments, with the claims processed through the Inland Revenue Department.

The UNDP, Jayasundera says, will certify those eligible before any funds are doled out, to avoid false claims.

The government has raised