The Welfare Benefits Board has informed that the information census of the second phase of the “Aswesuma” welfare benefit program implemented as per the instructions of President Ranil Wickremesinghe will be conducted from July 15 to 30.

In addition to the more than 1.8 million people who qualified in the first phase, another 450,924 applications have been received for the second phase and among them the identification of those who are eligible for the payment of welfare benefits is to be completed within this month, the President’s Media Division (PMD) said.

A total of 1,854,000 individuals have qualified for the first phase of the “Aswesuma” program, with the government allocating Rs.58.5 billion for this phase. The Welfare Benefits Board has provided an opportunity for those who missed or could not apply during the first stage to reapply.

“Aswesuma” welfare benefit will be distributed across four social categories namely, transitional, vulnerable, poor, and extremely poor. Additionally, allowances for the disabled, elderly, and kidney patients will continue as usual, according to the PMD.

To enhance the efficiency of field data collection, the Welfare Benefits Board has introduced a new Mobile App that includes features for taking photos, geo-mapping, and voice recording.

Accordingly, it is planned to implement the collection of information through the Mobile App as a pilot project in the Colombo Divisional Secretariat Division, it added.

-Ada Derena