Around Rs .25 billion allocated for Samurdhi recipients, Rs.13 billion had been spent in the first three months of this year, Prime Minister and UNP leader Ranil Wickremesinghe revealed in Colombo on Sunday.
Addressing the UNP’s May Day celebrations at the Sugathadasa Stadium, Wickremesinghe questioned as to what had happened to the Rs.13 billion in such a short period. “In the first three months, only 25 percent of the total allocation should have been expended. But we are left with less than 50 percent for the rest of the year. The fate of Samurdhi funds has to be found out.”
He said that all public and private financial institutions were regulated by the Central Bank, but only the Samurdhi Bank being out of its purview, had set a bad precedent.
The Samurdhi Bank would be brought under the Finance Ministry and monitored by the Central Bank, the Prime Minister added. “Following the recent Cabinet reshuffle the UNP has been given the Samurdhi Portfolio.We will ensure that needy people receive benefits and also develop the scheme to encompass as many as possible.”