The President’s Fund has come under scrutiny for disbursing over one crore ninety-one lakh rupees to two Members of Parliament for medical treatment abroad.
The payments, totaling one crore twenty-one lakh sixty thousand rupees for the late Ranjith Soysa MP and sixty-nine lakhs fifty-five thousand rupees for Jayantha Weerasinghe MP, were made in installments over the past two years.
However, an audit of the President’s Fund has revealed discrepancies in the distribution of medical assistance. While five thousand one hundred and one patients applied for aid, payments were made to only two thousand seven hundred and fifty beneficiaries. The report notes a fifty-four percent fulfillment rate and highlights the lack of responses from the management to queries raised by the National Audit Office.
Furthermore, allocated funds of twenty crore rupees and two crore fifty lakh rupees for scholarship grants and special projects, respectively, intended for students from low-income families who qualify for advanced level examinations, were not implemented. The management attributed the non-implementation to the challenges posed by the Covid-19 pandemic and other issues, as stated in the audit report.
The discrepancies and unimplemented programs have sparked controversy and raised questions about the transparency and effectiveness of the President’s Fund.