National Audit Office to scrutinise accounts of Samurdhi banks

Wednesday, 29 May 2024 01:56 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

The Cabinet of Ministers on Monday approved amendments to the Samurdhi Act No.1 of 2013, as amended by the Divineguma (Amendment) Act No. 2 of 2017 and directed the Legal Draftsman to prepare the respective bill for this purpose.

Speaking at the weekly post-Cabinet meeting media briefing, Cabinet Co-Spokesman and Minister Bandula Gunawardena said the proposed amendments aim to introduce new auditing provisions for the 1,092 Samurdhi Community-Based Banks and 335 Samurdhi Community-Based Banking Societies operating across the country to promote microfinance activities. 

At present, these institutions are audited annually by the Internal Audit Division of the Samurdhi Development Department. However, the existing Samurdhi Act does not mandate audits by the National Audit Office.

Recognising the importance of maintaining transparency and increasing public confidence, he said the Cabinet decided that auditing by the National Audit Office would be beneficial. 

“This move is expected to boost public trust and acceptance of Samurdhi Community-Based Banks and Banking Societies,” he added.

The proposal to amend the Samurdhi Act was presented by President Ranil Wickremesinghe, in his capacity as the Women Affairs and Social Empowerment Minister.