Hussain Niyazy, the newly appointed Auditor General, has ordered the recovery of over MVR 400,000 in income support allowance payments made to ineligible people.
Last year, the government established the income support allowance program to help those whose jobs were terminated, placed on no-pay leave, or lost their source of income, with qualified people receiving MVR 5,000 and those who have had salary or income reductions less than MVR 5,000 receiving the difference.
According to the Auditor General’s Office, the total income support allowance payments made amount to MVR 158 million, including over MVR 400,000 paid to 217 ineligible candidates.
The audit report noted that there is no system in place to assess that those who receive the income support allowance administered through the National Social Protection Agency (NSPA) are indeed qualified due to a lack of a framework between the Pension Office and the Ministry of Economic Development.
But the report highlighted that the economic ministry thoroughly investigated the legitimacy of candidates before giving income support.
According to the audit report, more than 86% of eligible people got income support allowance payments, with tourism employees receiving 52% of them.
However, there was no improvement in the financial condition of those who got the funds, with 59% applying during the next phase, the audit report said.
The auditor general advised that such people be given training opportunities and reintegrated into the work field.