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Samurdhi Dept. told to conduct survey to identify poverty-stricken families

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The Sectoral Oversight Committee on Alleviating the Impact of the Economic Crisis has instructed the Department of Samurdhi Development to conduct a quick survey to identify other poverty-stricken families who need to be empowered.

This was taken into discussion when the Sectoral Oversight Committee on Alleviating the Impact of the Economic Crisis met in Parliament on Sep. 19 chaired by MP Gamini Waleboda Member of Parliament.

Commenting further, the Member of Parliament stated to the officials of the Department of Samurdhi Development to appoint a Committee together with the Ministry of Finance, the Welfare Benefits Board and the Department of Census and Statistics to take the necessary measures.

The discussion was held with the aim of reviewing the goals of the Department of Samurdhi Development to reduce the impact of the economic crisis and the current plans to achieve those goals in the year 2024.

The officials of the Department of Samurdhi Development, who presented the facts, mentioned that at present there are more than sixteen hundred thousand Samurdhi beneficiary families. Accordingly, the department has planned to empower forty-one hundred thousand families in the two years from 2024 to 2026.

The Chair reminded the officials that the responsibility of empowering all families who are affected by the economic crisis and those who are not is entrusted to the Department of Samurdhi Development. The Committee also ordered the Department of Samurdhi Development to immediately prepare a plan to eradicate poverty within the next five years.

The Leader of the Opposition – Sajith Premadasa, addressing the Committee, pointed out the dire need to first establish technical definitions to identify poverty.

The Committee also discussed about the proposed number of new employees in the department, which has been presented in relation to the future plans of the Department of Samurdhi Development. The Committee Chair pointed out that the sacrifices made by the officers of the Department of Samurdhi Development Department during the Covid pandemic cannot be forgotten. The Chair instructed the officials of the Management Services Department to take into consideration the work done by them in the past while approving the proposed number of new employees. Accordingly, the Committee ordered the Management Services Department to come to a final decision about the proposed staff of the Samurdhi Development Department within two weeks and to approve it.

The Committee also discussed the people who have not yet received their pension due to the retired officials of the Samurdhi Development Department and the related reasons. The Chair asked the officials of the Department of Pensions to arrange for the payment of the basic pension to the employees who have not yet received their pension.

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278 prison inmates to be pardoned

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A total of 278 inmates at prisons across the island will be released tomorrow in view of Vesak festival, the Prisons Department said.

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Parliament suspended due to lack of quorum

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Parliament sessions were abruptly suspended until June 04 due to a lack of quorum. 

There were less than 20 member present during the time of suspension. 

MP Jagath Samarawickrama was at the Chair.

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Notice for students sitting for Grade 5 scholarships

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The Department of Examinations has announced that the 2024 Grade Five Scholarship Examination will be held on September 15 this year.

It adds that applications for the examination will be accepted online from May 27 – June 14, 2024 and acceptance of applications will not be extended beyond the announced period.

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