Minister of State for Finance, Shehan Semasinghe, said that among the 2 million Aswesuma beneficiary families, phased payments have commenced for 1.5 million families. In the first phase, a total of Rs. 4.395 billion have been successfully transferred to the bank accounts of 689,803 beneficiaries.
Semasinghe stated that the second category’s monetary provision will be enacted starting next week. He conveyed these updates during a press conference held today (29) at the Presidential Media Center under the theme ‘Collective Path to a Stable Country.’
Highlighting that around Rs. 15 billion is earmarked for assisting the 1.5 million shortlisted beneficiary families, the State Minister emphasized the prompt release of necessary funds for their support.
Queries concerning fund matters can be directed to the hotline number 1924 on weekdays from 10 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. Moreover, allowances for disabled individuals, the elderly and kidney patients have already been disbursed.
Minister Semasinghe underlined that if Aswesuma benefits were acquired through fraudulent means, legal action would be initiated against such persons and in such cases, efforts to reclaim the disbursed funds will not be hesitated upon.
State Minister Semasinghe further said;
“The government has initiated the disbursement of funds for the initial group entitled to benefits. Presently, 689,803 beneficiary families have received a total of approximately Rs. 4.395 billion in their bank accounts.
Among the beneficiaries, 1.5 million families qualify for relief, with an additional 1 million families having submitted applications. Approximately 100,000 families are engaged in protests. In light of these considerations, a collective total of 2 million beneficiary families are selected for relief. Parliament has granted approval to provide benefits to these 2 million low-income families through the Aswesuma relief program.
Currently, funds for the first batch have been released, with plans to distribute funds to the second group in the upcoming week. For inquiries or information related to this matter, individuals can contact the hotline at 1924.
The funds being disbursed pertain to the month of July, with future arrangements to provide funds for August. The program ensures consistent and guaranteed benefits without any gaps. Notably, these relief measures are provided alongside elderly and disability allowances.
The Samurdhi Institute plays a pivotal role in uplifting these families, especially the most vulnerable among them. This empowerment is crucial as beneficiaries will need to reapply for insurance next year. The Aswesuma program aims to assist those who genuinely require support, ensuring the allocation of benefits to families in need.
With the empowerment of individuals, the necessity for continuous benefits diminishes. Concurrently, investigations are underway to identify instances of false information submission for illegitimate gains. The Aswesuma Act includes provisions for recovering funds obtained through false means. Recovered funds are then redirected to beneficiaries on the waiting list.”
Meanwhile, the Chairman of the Aswasuma Welfare Benefit Board Mr. Jayantha Wijayaratne, said:
“The endeavour is underway to extend benefits to eligible families through the Aswasuma program. A sum of Rs. 5 billion has already been deposited into the accounts of 791,000 out of the current 1.5 million qualifying families. Presently, over 683,000 of these families have successfully received their funds. The remaining 111,000 beneficiaries are scheduled to receive their payments in the coming days.
The second group is set to receive their funds in the following week, with the aim of disbursing the entire amount before September 15th. All individuals meeting the qualifying criteria are assured of receiving benefits. Consequently, there is no reason for unnecessary apprehension. All eligible individuals are guaranteed monthly benefits, and there is no need for any doubts in this regard.”
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