Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka President’s Senior Adviser on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff, said that the active participation of government officials in Sri Lanka is essential for the implementation of the “Aswasuma” social welfare benefit program, which was initiated under the guidance of President Ranil Wickremesinghe, to empower low-income families and provide relief to the people in need.

He said that the policy decisions to be taken for the upliftment of the low-income people should be taken without delay and pointed out that the country had to face many economic problems in the past due to the failure to take those policy decisions properly.

Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka expressed these views during the discussion held at the Presidential Secretariat (18) regarding the active participation of government officials in the “Aswasuma” social welfare benefit program.

The progress of the “Aswasuma” social welfare benefit payment program so far was reviewed and Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka instructed the officials to provide those benefits to everyone registered for kidney, disabled and elderly allowances.

Mr. Ratnayaka explained the need to formalize the identification of beneficiaries in the implementation of the Aswasuma Social Welfare Program, which was introduced to replace the Samurdhi Development Program that was implemented for low-income families, and requested the Samurdhi Development officials support it.

It was discussed at length about expediting the work of identifying the deserving persons by settling the appeals and objections received so far for the “Aswasuma” program with the participation of Samurdhi Development Officers who had left this program.

Mr. Sagala Ratnayaka also pointed out the importance of advancing this program in a timely manner using modern technology.

Minister of State for Finance Shehan Semasinghe, Minister of State for Social Empowerment Anupa Pasqual, Governor of the North Western Province Lakshman Yapa Abeywardena, Director General of Samurdhi Development R.P.B. Tillakasiri and representatives of the All Ceylon Samurdhi Managers’ Association also participated in this discussion.