Home Bangladesh More 2 m poor to be included in budget
Bangladesh - April 23, 2024

More 2 m poor to be included in budget

Mahfuz Emran: The underprivileged, neglected and marginalized groups of a country are protected in various ways through the social safety net. Social safety nets play a key role in building the welfare state. For that purpose, the government is thinking of including 20 lakh 26 thousand poor people under the social security program in the next (2024-25) budget, who are currently not getting any other allowances and food assistance. An allocation of Tk 1 lakh 30 thousand crores has been planned for this.
In the new program, the number of old age beneficiaries is 2 lakh, the number of widow beneficiaries is 2 lakh, the number of disabled persons is 3 lakh 34 thousand, the number of mother and child support beneficiaries is 2 lakh 60 thousand, the number of transgender community beneficiaries is 12,229 and those suffering from critical diseases are to be given medical assistance.
The government is thinking of adding 20 thousand people. Finance Minister Abul Hasan Mahmud Ali will propose it in the next budget if he gets the consent of the Prime Minister’s office.
It is learned that these plans have been accepted in the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Social Security Programmes, which will be implemented in the budget of the fiscal year 2024-25. A summary has already been sent to the Prime Minister’s office adding the views of all those who participated in the meeting. The opinion of the Prime Minister’s Office will be considered final.
It may be noted that the Cabinet Committee on Social Security Program meets every year before the Budget. The meeting decided to increase its scope and allowance. Ex-officio Finance Minister is the chairman of this committee. There are 9 other ministers in the committee. The committee meets every three months. The last meeting was held in April.
The meeting was attended by Minister of Liberation War A. K. M. Mozammel Haque, Minister of Social Welfare Dr. Dipu Moni, State Minister for Women and Child Affairs Simin Hossain Rimi, Youth and Sports Minister Nazmul Hasan Papon, Cabinet Secretary Mahbub Hossain, Disaster Management and Relief Secretary Kamrul Hasan and others.
According to sources in the Ministry of Finance, it is proposed to bring another 20 lakh 26 thousand poor people under the social security program in this year’s budget to deal with the ongoing inflation. The newly added poor population is currently not receiving any other type of allowances and food assistance. Out of this, 10 lakh 26 thousand extremely poor people will come under various allowances. In the face of rising commodity prices, the remaining 10 lakh people are being considered to be included in food assistance programs including OMS. Besides, all the physically challenged people of the country will be brought under the allowance, which will be implemented in the next (2024-25) budget.
According to sources, the concerned parties are planning to keep the total allocation for the social security sector within Tk 1 lakh 30 thousand crore in the next financial year. In the current financial year (2023-24), the total allocation for this sector is 1 lakh 26 thousand 272 crores. In the financial year 2022-23, Tk one lakh 13 thousand 576 crores was allocated. There are 123 programs or subjects under the social safety net sector in the country. 24 ministries and departments are responsible for their implementation. Eight of these programs are cash allowances, and 11 are food assistance.
In the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Social Security Program held under the chairmanship of the finance minister, it has been proposed to increase the number of beneficiaries as well as increase the amount of allowance in this year’s budget. Among these, it has been decided to increase the allowance of freedom fighters from Tk 500 to Tk 1000 and those who have reached the age of 90 years. At the same time, it has been proposed to increase the amount of poor mother and child support allowance.
It is known that in the meeting of the Cabinet Committee on Social Security Program, the Ministry of Liberation War Affairs has proposed to increase the monthly salary for freedom fighters to Tk 30 thousand. Earlier, in 2021, the honor of freedom fighters was increased, but then it was not increased. Currently two lakh freedom fighters and their families are getting this allowance.
Newly 6 lakh 99 thousand elderly people are said to be brought under this facility. In this case, the additional cost is estimated at Tk 506.80 crores. In the meeting, it was decided to increase two lakh new beneficiaries. This brings the total number of beneficiaries to 60 lakhs. General old age allowance of Tk 600 remains unchanged.
Apart from this, it was decided to increase the number of widows and widowed women beneficiaries by two lakhs in the meeting. As a result, the total number of beneficiaries of this program in the country will stand at 27 lakh 75 thousand. In this case, the existing allowance amount of Tk 550 will be maintained.
It has been decided to increase the amount of allowance by 20 percent and 100 percent under the mother and child support program. Currently 13 lakh 4 people are getting this benefit. Two lakh 60 thousand new faces will be added to this program in the next financial year. As a result, the beneficiaries of mother and child support will stand at 15 lakh 64 thousand. Besides, the amount of allowance of this program has been increased from Tk 500 to Tk 1000. No disability shall be excluded from the allowance. 3 lakh 34 thousand new people will be added in future to bring disabled people under 100% allowance. Currently 29 lakh people are getting this facility. In the future this number will stand at 32 lakh 34 thousand.
Due to the addition of additional faces, the annual expenditure of the government will be Tk 3 thousand 321 crores 77 lakhs. Another 12 thousand 229 people are being brought under the allowance program to improve the living standards of Hijra, Bede and backward communities. The number of beneficiaries in this sector will increase from 65 thousand to 77 thousand 229 people.
Apart from this, financial support programs for cancer, kidney, liver cirrhosis, stroke and congenital heart patients will also be ongoing. It is proposed to increase the allocation of another Tk 50 crore in this sector. 20,000 more patients will be assisted by increasing financial benefits.
In the meeting, Finance Minister Abul Hasan Mahmud Ali said that the social security program is an important program of the government. Every year the scope and amount of this program increases, this time it will also increase. Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will take the final decision on increasing the allowance of freedom fighters. Apart from this, he gave his opinion on increasing the allowance of senior citizens.
State Minister for Finance Wasika Ayesha Khan said that this government is the government of the common people, a people-friendly government. The scope of the social security program is being extended to ease the suffering of the common people due to inflation. Inflation will come down gradually. Apart from this, VGF, VGD, food aid, low price foodstuff distribution program will also be ongoing through TCB.

Check Also

Govt faces chellenge to implement 50 pc of ADP in a month

Not possible, encourage misuse of public fund: GEF Farhad Chowdhury: According to statisti…