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Pensioners badly hit



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Senior Sri Lankan citizens living abroad used to be paid their pensions through their embassies. Since November 2018, this payment system has been stopped and a new payment system established.


At present pension payments are made to a special bank account called ‘Quick Account’ in Sri Lanka. It is a very expensive system for the poor citizen.


When a new quick account is opened, the bank does not allow a debit card or depositing any other cash or cheques. Intentional payments through the Internet are also stopped. The funds in their accounts can be used only in two ways. One is for the citizen to arrive at the bank in Sri Lanka and withdraw cash. The other is to make a request to the bank to transfer money to a given foreign bank account. Recipients have to pay a large sum of money to make a fund transfer. If one wants to withdraw Rs 5000 from one’s quick account, one has to forward three different requests, certified by a JP in one’s country of residence. First, in the US the certification costs Rs. 900 (S $ 5), certified post costing Rs 1,100/- (Rs $ 7) and bank transaction costs Rs 3,500. This means the total cost of transferring Rs 5,000 is Rs 5,000!.


The government should issue debit cards to quick account holders so that they could do transactions via the Internet.


DR A S ABEYRATNE


(80 years old)


 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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