(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – Arrangements will be made to start accepting new applications for ‘Aswesuma’ Social Welfare Benefit Program for the year 2024 as soon as appeals and objections that have been submitted will be reviewed, State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe stated.
In light of this, the Minister stated that by strengthening the shortcomings of the relief program thus far, he hopes to accept new applications for next year.
The Minister also mentioned that preliminary work is being done on the appeals and objections received by the Divisional Secretaries.
He expressed these views yesterday (03) during a press conference themed ‘Collective Path to a Stable Country’ held at the Presidential Media Centre (PMC).
State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe further commented;
1,280,000 families who are receiving Samurdhi benefits have applied for ‘Aswesuma’, out of which 887,653 families have qualified. It was decided to extend the Samurdhi allowance to 393,094 families who are not qualified for ‘Aswesuma’ from among the families currently receiving the Samurdhi subsidy until the appeals / objection process is concluded. The appeals and objections that have been submitted will be reviewed and arrangements will be made to start accepting new applications as soon as it is completed.
1,792,265 beneficiaries have been selected for the initial step of Aswesuma program by the Welfare Benefits Board. Relief is to be provided for 2 million families and after consideration of appeals and objections it will be possible to reach the target.
Meanwhile, for the elderly, kidney and disabled people receiving assistance, it will be paid as previously. Accordingly, arrangements will be made to provide elderly allowances through post offices and kidney and disabled allowances through Divisional Secretariats.
The 11,660 people in elderly homes, children’s homes, disabled centers and religious places will receive allowances without a change until a new policy is formulated.
Meanwhile, the Welfare Benefits Board has received the details of 1 million accounts for the payment and the government requests the eligible people to open accounts as soon as possible to receive the benefits.
‘Aswesuma’ is not a program to undermine the Samurdhi Movement or the Samurdhi Banks. In order to further strengthen Samurdhi Banks, it is hoped to prepare a program through which the Department of Samurdhi Development will be regulated by the Central Bank in the future.