Number of Aswesuma beneficiaries to be increased to 2.4mn families by June – State Minister

Number of Aswesuma beneficiaries to be increased to 2.4mn families by June – State Minister

February 28, 2024   09:17 pm

State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe, announced that the verification and certification process for applicants in the second phase of the “Aswasuma” program has been finalized. All necessary arrangements have been made to extend benefits to 2.4 million family units starting from June 2024.

The State Minister underscored the imminent closure of the second phase of applications, slated to conclude on March 15, 2024. Emphasizing the importance of timely submission, he reiterated that individuals failing to submit their applications by the given deadline will forfeit eligibility for benefits associated with the program.

These updates were provided by State Minister Semasinghe during his participation in a press briefing at the Presidential Media Centre today (28), themed ‘Collective Path to a Stable Country’.

Additionally, Minister Semasinghe noted that approximately 7,000 individuals who were found to have received benefits based on false information have been removed from the program due to appeals and objections.

The Minister of State for Finance provided further details, stating that initially, 3.4 million family units were certified for the program’s first phase. Out of this, 1.9 million families have been deemed eligible to receive benefits. Following the assessment of appeals and objections received, the Welfare Benefit Board is prepared to commence payments to the selected beneficiaries from July 2024.

A total of 1,227,000 appeals and objections were registered, of which around 1,197,000 have been resolved. Furthermore, there is a group of deserving individuals who did not receive welfare benefits because they did not submit their application forms during the initial application period.

Following extensive online awareness efforts, we have received approximately 200,000 to 250,000 applications thus far. The application forms handed in directly to the Divisional Secretariats are currently being processed through our online system. The call for applications in the second phase will conclude after March 15, 2024. It’s crucial to note that failure to submit application forms renders individuals ineligible for relief benefits.

Furthermore, after completing the verification and certification of new applicants, all preparations have been finalized to extend insurance benefits to 2.4 million family units starting from June 2024. Consequently, we anticipate allocating Rs. 205 billion for compensation payments in 2024. It’s worth mentioning that the allocation of these provisions has already been arranged.

We are actively gathering information about such individuals. It is imperative to note that upon identifying them, we are ready to pursue the recovery of funds and initiate legal action against them in accordance with the law.

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