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State minister Siyambalapitiya on 4 Mn people paid monthly by govt.

9 February 2024 10:00 am - 4     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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This claim by the State Minister Siyambalapitya was reported differently in the press. However, FactCheck.lk evaluated only his associated social media post. He can be understood as claiming that 4 million individuals will be receiving monthly payments from the government in 2024. He bases this figure on two groups: (i) 2 million who are government employees or pensioners, and (ii) 2 million who receive monthly welfare payments. 


To verify this claim, FactCheck.lk consulted the Welfare Benefit Board website, Ministry of Finance Annual Report 2022, and the Budget Estimates for 2024.
Group 1: The total number of public sector employees (1,393,883) and pensioners (676,430) for 2022 aligns with the state minister’s cited figure for group 1.
Group 2: The state minister refers to those who have been admitted to the Aswesuma programme. The only available data for the Aswesuma program indicates 1,792,265 eligible beneficiaries in 2023, but this may not accurately represent the actual number of recipients. 


Nevertheless, according to the 2024 budget estimates, the government ‘expects’ to provide Aswesuma to 2 million households—which may be the basis for the figure cited by the state minister for group 2.


Consequently, the state minister’s estimation of 4 million as the number expecting to receive monthly payments from the government aligns with the government’s data and budget projections. 


Therefore, we classify the state minister’s claim as TRUE.


*FactCheck.lk’s verdict is based on the most recent information that is publicly accessible. As with every fact check, if new information becomes available, FactCheck.lk will revisit the assessment.

FactCheck is a platform run by Verité Research. 
For comments, suggestions and feedback, please visit www.factcheck.lk.   


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  Comments - 4

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  • Tax Payer Tuesday, 13 February 2024 05:31 PM

    STATE MINISTER SIYAMBALAPITIYA, ARE YOU NOT ACQUIRING LANDS AND BUILDING HOTELS ETC LIKE YOUR COUNTERPART SHEHAN SEMASINGHE.?

    Sambo Thursday, 15 February 2024 08:28 AM

    The government servants were increased from 8 hundred thousand to 1.3 million by MR's government for the purpose of getting votes but the salaries paid by public taxes. These politicians have ruined the country far too much for their personal benefits.

    Sambo Monday, 19 February 2024 07:45 AM

    That is not entirely the peoples fault but should be shoulded by politicians for recruiting for political reasons and vote buying. Who pays the price.

    Cherath Saturday, 02 March 2024 03:29 PM

    Out of a population of 22.4 million 2 million get by with handouts from the Government and its rising with each year. Are they all disabled and too old and weak? For those who aren't, the government should launch a system to provide initial capital and knowhow to start a project that's suited to the applicant and his locality, monitor progress and provide continued assistance, anyway it can. Otherwise charity alone for the able bodied and stable mind will only create 'professional dependants'.


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