Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Technically NO ONE is entitled to Samurdi in 2016

A clear statement was made in today’s ADA newspaper (page2) by the Secretary of the United Samurdi Officers Association, Mr Lalith D Priyantha, that if the current rules of entitlement for Samurdi are observed, NO ONE will be entitled to Samurdi. (The state welfare payment for poor households)


IS NO SECRET that many people who receive Samurdi are NOT poor, and are not in need, but due to ‘political’ reasons or incorrect interpretations on eligibility receive this state payment monthly, where as there are many very poor people who do not receive this, in some cases due to political retribution.

Just like in the tax situation, where there are MANY Doctors and Lawyers who SHOULD be paying Income Taxes but are not, as they have avoided it by either being paid in cash, or not filing returns as they should, the converse is true here too. ManySamurdi recipients DO NOT inform the authorities of a change in status, where a family member remits funds monthly from overseas employment, enabling the household to purchase three wheelers, motor bikes and construct solid and attractive homes, but still receive the monthly payment.

Samurdi Officers being state employees, do not wish to ruffle feathers or rock the boat, and are therefore NOT inclined to cut any benefit of a person who they even see whizz past in a new car! Yet collect money which could otherwise take a destitute person out of sheer starvation.

IT IS incumbent upon the Govt. to take steps immediately to review ALL who receive welfare. Legislate new rules and maximum earnings limits and determine under the new conditions of poverty and household income, who really are entitled to this benefit. There is a well entrenched state apparatus in place. There is NO new staffing that is required, just pass these requirements to the thousands of Samurdi officers who are now in the system, to administer Samurdi to people who are not entitled to anything.

What a waste of State Resources both on the staff, that already costs billions, and on making payments to those who are using the system, and abusing it, and getting away with it as the Officials are not willing to even re –evaluate entitlements based on even the existing criteria.

When it comes to review it is imperative to review all State Payments, to ensure if people who are receive payments are in fact alive, and living in Sri Lanka! Some recipients don’t even live in Sri Lanka, but are overseas! Time to change!      

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