Samurdhi Relif Program

The government of Sri Lanka has undertaken many initiatives for social welfare programs. After the freedom in 1948, Every Sri Lankan governments provide verities of social welfare program. Most important welfare program is a food subsidy program in after 1975. The department of food relief was established under the poor relief act no. 32 in 1985. The department is providing service to distributing and development program to poor families. It was conducted by the steps. Selected family got Rs.2500/- value per month for 2 years according to the JANASAVIYA Program. There were 3 round fully completed. 4th relief and nutritional social development program for low income families. But after the political change of the government, the main relief program was change to ?JANASAVIYA? program. It was started at 1989. That program was aim to provide a relief and 5th round started at that time but didn?t finish it to the government change.

In 1994, the government was changed again. The new government was introducing a ?SAMURDHI? Program. It was a program to address all divisions in the country.

What is Samurdhi Program?

SAMURDHI Program operates in three approaches to alleviate poverty and develop rural areas.

1. Safety nets - Subsidies - Insurance scheme - To ensure minimum living standards by improving purchasing power and protect from unexpected breakdowns and occasions by insurance scheme and also improve the commitment, dedication in development programmes.

2. Rural development - Infrastructure development - Social development Develop the infrastructure in the village to reach the rural and urban market, enhance the interdependence rural (village) and urban (city) areas. Social Development Programmes focusing on the aged destitute, alcoholics, drug addicts, handicapped and other disadvantaged persons. Other projects such as environmental protection, youth training and nutrition projects etc.

3. Income generating and Banking
Provide micro financing facilities to income generating activities and train poor families to use the banking facilities.

The government established different institutions to conduct this main program. The SSP is conduct by the Department of the poor relief. It was already established department. The Sri Lanka SAMURDHI Authority is the newly established organization for conducting the empowerment program. The Poor Relief Department was functioning from 1985 to 2004. But after the cabinet decision The Department of The Poor Relief and The DCGS amalgamate in 2004. After that the newly established department called The DCGS. Sri Lanka SAMURDHI authority holds the responsibility of the Empowerment work such as rural development, Social development, Banking and income generating activities.

SAMURDHI Subsidy Programme
Under this program a coupon printed on a special paper, which is valid for six months is issued to the beneficiaries to distribute the benefits. This coupon consists of main three parts.

02.1.1. Money: The value stated in the coupon is debited monthly to beneficiary?s account in the SAMURDHI bank which he can withdraw later.

02.1.2. Goods: Beneficiary can buy consumer goods according to the value stated in the coupon from the relevant Cooperative retail outlet or authorized retail outlet.

02.1.3. Other : compulsory savings, insurance, housing lottery

i. Compulsory savings potion mentioned in the coupon is debited to the beneficiary?s account in the SAMURDHI bank and he can?t withdraw this money without a special permission.

ii. Social security subscription to contribute to the insurance scheme is debited to that fund. The beneficiaries are been paid in the case of

A. Child birth
B. Marriage
C. Hospitalization
D. Death

iii. Housing lottery contribution potion is used to draw a lottery monthly and provide money to 100 recipients to build or repair a house.

02.2. Values and potions of SS.
* For Foods
* For Savings
* For Compulsory Savings
* For Insurance
* For Housing Lottery
The value of the coupon depends on the number of members in the beneficiary?s family. The coupon value is printed on the coupon, and the name, address of the beneficiary is written in it. In 2010 the new value of the coupon is shown as below.

Stamp value related to the family size. JANASAVI Families: Who are selecting the 5th round, but didn?t complete the programme
Empowered Families: SAMURDHI families who are came to better income level
after conducting a empowerment projects under the
SAMURDHI Programme.
These kinds of stamps are provided to poor families who can participate actively for the SAMURDHI program and finally empower them. Who are living in singles or two persons can participate only the housing lottery program and they can get dry rations from the cooperative shops. That kind of families can?t be empowered from the SAMURDHI program. That mean the amount of the stamps depend on number of persons in the family. Every beneficiary family is automatically eligible for participate the housing lottery program. The systems of the above process are shown below.
Household Size Value of Stamp Cash from Bank Compulsory Savings For Goods Housing Lottery Social Security

6 or above 1500 540 300 605 10 45
3 to 5 900 315 150 380 10 45
2 525 - - 525 10 -
1 375 - - 265 10 -
JANASAVI 425 - - 360 10 45
EMPOWERED 210 155 - - 10 45

Potions of the Stamps.

SAMURDHI, Sri Lanka?s most extensive social welfare programme, remains 15 years after its creation in 1995, a poorly targeted assistance program. Over the recent years, SAMURDHI has been the target of harsh criticism such as selecting families by the list of politicians by the political leaders and unauthorized selecting process by the SAMURDHI officers due to its poor targeting of beneficiaries. While the program covers around 36 percent of the overall population living entire country, it reaches only 60 percent of the poor. But, only 15.2% are poor.

From 1995 to 2009 Government of Sri Lanka spending more money to this SSP. Limited benefit?s are also due to the presence of large inclusion and exclusion targeting errors which have constrained the amount that can be offered as support. These inefficiencies have arisen mainly because the programme did not have eligibility criteria and clear entry and exit mechanisms from its very inception in 1995. As a result, the programme included many who did not need the transfer and excluded substantial numbers who did, while the sheer number of recipient households - reaching 40 per cent of all households in 1999/2000 when only about 23 per cent were poor meant that benefits were spread thinly and the programme could not provide any substantial assistance to shore up consumption levels of those who needed it.

Beneficiary data from 1995 to 2013