Finance State Minister Shehan Semasinghe has vowed to bring an end to the unfair provision of subsidies at the discretion of politicians.
Speaking on the matter, the lawmaker said the current government has done away with this arbitrary provision of subsidies which had been in place for at least 25 years, while admitting that the newly-introduced welfare scheme ‘Aswesuma’ is not without its own flaws.
Semasinghe said the government would work to eliminate these shortcomings in the future, adding that the most deserving groups of people would be provided with more welfare benefits.
Speaking further, the state minister assured that the government, under no circumstances, would cut the Samurdhi welfare benefits.
The Cabinet of Ministers on Monday (July 31) gave the nod to continue with Samurdhi welfare payments to 393,094 recipients who were disqualified for the ‘Aswesuma’ welfare benefit program.
In the initial round a total of 1,792,265 eligible beneficiaries were selected to provide ‘Aswesuma’ welfare benefits, and 1,588,835 of them who haven’t received objections or filed appeals would receive the payments.
The government has also decided that 84,374 beneficiaries, who have appealed to be upgraded to a category with more benefits, would receive the payments made under the category they are already in, until the evaluation of appeals is completed.
Meanwhile, 119,056 Aswesuma beneficiaries against whom objections were raised, the government would continue to pay welfare benefits until objection reviewing is completed.
In addition, the allowances for the elderly will continue to be provided through post offices as usual while kidney patients and disability allowances are delivered through divisional secretariats.
The 11,660 individuals who are currently living in elderly homes, children’s homes and disability centers and the clergy will also receive their welfare benefits as usual.