Minister of Justice and Prisons Reforms Thalatha Athukorala says that Samurdhi benefits are not given with the intention of getting votes in the upcoming elections.
The minister made these comments participating at the occasion of handing over Samurdhi benefits to 600,000 families in Imbulpe, Ratnapura on Saturday (22).
She thanked Minister Daya Gamage who spearheaded this project to provide Samurdhi to 600,000 families.
“This was commenced by President Ranasinghe Premadasa in the name of ‘Janasaviya’ after 1994 this movement became politicized but today we are here without politicization,” the minister said.
Athukorala also said that the followers of UNP and JVP lost their Samurdhi because of the politicization.”The only qualification was being close to them but the present government is acting according to eligibility,” she added.
Further, she said that the only reason that some people like government servants, businessmen, and other people get Samurdhi is because of politics.
“There is this one group who had been receiving Samurdhi for 20 years,” she said.
The Minister said that those who acted as Samurdhi beneficiaries then became a political handicap and when the government took over the country on 8 January there was a debt of Rs. 10,000 billion, “we accepted the loan repayment program but we didn’t stop working for the country,”.