Govt. busts Rs. 400 mn on advertising project to grant Samurdhi benefits


Chief Opposition Whip Mahinda Amaraweera yesterday told Parliament that the government had spent Rs. 400 million on advertising a project to grant Samurdhi benefits to 600,000 more persons.

MP Amaraweera said: "By granting Samurdhi benefits to another 600,000 persons this government has accepted that during its tenure poverty has been increased. Last week, I said that the government was going to spend Rs. 180 million for advertising. But I was wrong. The actual allocation is Rs. 400 million. This is a huge waste of public money."

Amaraweera made this remark when Leader of the House Minister Lakshman Kiriella said that the government did not have enough capital to make public entities like SriLanka Airlines and Sri Lanka Ports profitable in response to a question raised by JVP Leader Anura Kumara Dissanayake.

The government thus had allocated a total sum of Rs. 400 million for granting Samurdhi for new beneficiaries, he stressed. "Also, the beneficiaries are all UNP supporters. Minister Kiriella last week confirmed it. This is not acceptable."

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