Selection for ’Aswesuma’ unfair; re-evaluate process: MPs

Author - Editor
Selection for ’Aswesuma’ unfair; re-evaluate process: MPs

Both the ruling party and Opposition MPs expressed their displeasure over serious disparities in selecting eligible persons to receive assistance under 'Aswesuma' the new social welfare scheme of the government.

SLPP MP Jagath Kumara who raised the issue initially said some wealthy persons whose siblings are working in countries like Japan too have been selected as eligible persons to receive assistance under this scheme.

“We have received many complaints from those who are truly eligible for assistance.  We are willing to have a dialogue with President Ranil Wickremesinghe who is abroad. However, we want the Prime Minister to intervene and provide some temporary solution to the issue,” he said.

Opposition Leader Sajith Premadasa said it is better to carry out a proper survey on household income and expenditure. 

“I have requested a household income and expenditure survey on earlier occasions too and I make the request once again so that genuinely eligible persons to receive assistance could be selected.  

“A survey conducted by Learn Asia has revealed that the total population of those who are poverty stricken in Sri Lanka has increased to 07 million this year from the earlier figure of 04 million,” he said.

MP Rohitha Abeygunawardene who joined the crosstalk proposed a temporary suspension of Aswesuma and to provide temporary assistance under Samurdhi.

TNA MP Selvam Adeikalanathan said people in Mannar have taken to the streets as they have been deprived of assistance under this scheme.

Prime Minister Dinesh Gunawardene who responded said non-cooperation of some officers has led to disparities. 

“No way can we leave out those who are sick and differently-abled from the welfare scheme,” he also said. 

He said there is still time for anyone to submit appeals with regard to Aswesuma.