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BD to bring a quarter of population under social safety net

BD to bring a quarter of population under social safety net

Dhaka, June 13 – The government is going to bring nearly a quarter of the families in the country under the social safety net programmes in the next financial year. The government has planned to allocate Tk. 74,367 crore in the sector, which is 14.21 percent of total budget and 2.58 percent of GDP in the 2019-20 Fiscal Year.
In the revised budget of FY2018-19, the allocation was Tk. 64,404 crore.
“We are increasing the allocation for the social safety net sector every year to ameliorate the condition of the poor. By now, nearly a quarter of the families in the country has been covered under the social safety net programmes. As per our Election Manifesto, 2018, budget allocation in this sector will be doubled in the next five years,” said finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal.
“We are also implementing various programmes for the marginal communities besides helping the people with disabilities,” he said.
In his budgetary proposal, finance minister said Bangladesh has made significant progress in poverty reduction through a coordinated approach efforts of various initiatives including the overall government development programmes, private investment, and social security programmes.
The poverty rate was 40.0 percent in 2005, which has been brought down to 21.8 percent in 2018. The government has declared to reduce poverty to 12.30 percent and the extreme poverty rate to 4.50 percent by 2023-24.
However, the finance minister placed a set of proposals to widen the remit of social safety net programmes in FY2019-20. The widening of the social safety net is planned as follows:
Increase the state honorarium for the valiant freedom fighters to Tk 12,000 from Tk 10,000.
Increasing the number of recipients of adult allowances from 40 lakh to 44 lakh, for widows and victims of domestic violence from 14 lakh to 17 lakh, and beneficiaries of allowances for all insolvent persons with disabilities from 10 lakh to 15.45 lakh.
Recipient of stipends for disabled students will be increased to 1 lakh from 90,000. Rate of the stipend would be increased from Tk 700 to Tk 750 for primary students, from Tk 750 to Tk 800 for secondary students, and from Tk 850 to Tk 900 for higher secondary students.
Number of beneficiaries of Third Gender Livelihood Development programmes are to be increased to 6,000. Additional 20,000 gypsies and disadvantaged communities to be added to the existing list of 64,000 persons.
Number of beneficiaries of the financial assistance programme for patients suffering from cancer, kidney, liver cirrhosis, paralyzed due to stroke and congenital heart diseases would be increased from 15,000 to 30,000.
Beneficiaries of maternity allowances for poor mothers would be increased from 7 lakh to 7 lakh 70 thousand and that of the lactating mothers’ assistance programmes would be increased to 2 lakh 75 thousand from 2 lakh 50 thousand.
Increasing the number of beneficiaries of livelihood development programmes for tea-garden workers from 40,000 to 50,000.
Priority is given for ensuring the selection of genuine beneficiaries to enhance the effectiveness of social safety net programmes. For this purpose, steps have been taken to establish MIS for all programmes and database for all beneficiaries. Payments are being made directly from the government to the beneficiaries through the G2P system, according to the budgetary proposal. – Staff Reporter