Sri Lanka’s Samurdhi payments are mostly politically driven: Governor

Jan 03, 2014 (LBO) – Sri Lanka’s Governor Nivard Cabraal said that Island’s Samurdhi (prosperity) income re-distribution scheme is mostly politically driven. The poverty headcount ratio have declined and recorded 6.7 percent in 2012/2013 data showed. It was reported 8.9 percent ratio in 2009/2010.

In the western province, where infrastructure is plentiful and markets accessible, poverty ratio declined to 4.2 percent in 2009/10 from 8.9 percent in 2006/07 while poverty ratio fell to 5.7 percent in the North Central, 9.7 percent Central and 9.8 percent in Southern provinces in 2009/10.

Northen province reported 12.8 percent provincial poverty level.

The highest has been reported in Eastern province which is 14.8 percent.

The Samurdhi income transfer program, started in 1995 by then President Chandrika Kumaranatunga, gives food stamps, exchangeable for food at cooperative shops, to poor families to ease consumption poverty.

Sri Lanka’s Samurdhi (prosperity) income re-distribution scheme also has several income generating programs with a savings and loan scheme.

There were about 1, 483,272 Samurdhi beneficiaries in the country tod