The Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) disclosed that almost 33% of the families receiving the Samurdhi benefit are families who should not be entitled to the Samurdhi benefit.
According to a survey conducted covering the entire island from 2015 to 2017, this information was discovered and it was stated that 449,979 families should be removed from the Samurdhi subsidy.
Also, the officials of the National Audit Office said that informality is observed in the selection of Samurdhi beneficiaries.
This was disclosed when the Committee on Public Accounts (COPA) Chaired Lasantha Alagiyawanna, met recently in Parliament to review the matters included in the reports of the Auditor General for the years 2019, 2020, and 2021 and the current performance of the Department of Samurdhi Development.
Accordingly, it was also disclosed that some of the Samurdhi beneficiaries who received the monthly benefits remitted to the Prajamula Banks, kept them in their bank accounts for a long period of time and according to the surveys, the amount kept in the savings accounts of 2433 beneficiaries in 41 domains of 10 Prajamula Banks amounted to Rs. 59,951,537.
Moreover, the empowerment of the beneficiaries was also discussed at the Committee meeting and the COPA Chair was of the view that it was observed that there has been no proper program regarding the empowerment of the beneficiaries.
Furthermore, The Committee inquired about the inclusion of the number of employees there when the Samurdhi Authority was made a department, and since the correct data was not submitted, it was recommended to recall this department before COPA on the 26th of May, and the Chair further said that all the correct information about this would be required on that day.
Also, the financial subsidies received in the year 2022 under the assistance of the World Bank were also discussed here and the future plans of this department were also inquired about according to the updates planned to be done from the coming July. As no successful program was presented regarding the future plans, when the Samurdhi Development Department comes before this committee on May 26th, COPA also recommended that a successful program be presented.