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SLPP finds fault with ‘Aswesuma’

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Govt. receives over 190,000 complaints and appeals

By Rathindra Kuruwita

SLPP MP Namal Rajapaksa has found fault with the Wickremesinghe-Rajapaksa government for the selection of ‘Aswesuma’ beneficiaries.

The former minister has, issuing a statement on behalf of the SLPP parliamentary group, alleged that those who deserved the ‘Aswesuma’ benefits have been excluded. Those who don’t require such assistance have been accommodated in the programme, Rajapaksa has said, demanding remedial action.

State Finance Minister Shehan Semasinghe yesterday assured that the aggrieved people could submit appeals before 10 July. Addressing the media at the President’s Media centre, Semasinghe urged the public not to fall prey to various interested parties.

Chairman and Commissioner of the Welfare Benefits Board B. Wijeratne said his office had received over 190,000 complaints and appeals over the ‘Aswesuma. programme by the end of 26 June.

“We will consider them all and come up with a final list,” he said.

Wijeratne said he had received reports that there were many protests opposing the way ‘Aswesuma’ beneficiaries were selected.

The government received 3,712,096 applications for ‘Aswesuma’ welfare benefits by the end of April.

The Presidential Secretariat said ‘Aswesuma’ benefits would be distributed among four categories–– transitional, vulnerable, poor, and extremely poor. Additionally, the usual allowances for the differently-abled, elderly, and kidney patients will also be provided.

“Accordingly 400,000 transitional beneficiaries will receive Rs 2,500 a month until 31 December 2023. 400,000 people in the vulnerable category will receive Rs 5,000 a month until 31 March 2024. 800,000 people in the poor category will receive Rs 8,500 rupees a month, and those in the extremely poor category will receive Rs 15,000 a month for three years beginning 01 July 2023,” the Secretariat said.

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