Social safety net beneficiaries to rise to 77.47 lakh in next budget

DHAKA, Social safety net coverage is expected to be expanded in the upcoming budget for fiscal year 201920 increasing the number of beneficiaries to around 7,7 47,600 from the existing 6,402,500.

Around 1,345,100 poor people will come under the social safety net coverage from the upcoming fiscal year, officials said.

The number of the beneficiaries is increasing gradually as per Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's directives as the government is working relentlessly to free the country from poverty and hunger, an official of Department of Social Services (DSS) told BSS today.

The government is also increasing the allocation for the programme by Tk 970.57 crore to Tk 5,052.37 crore in the upcoming budget from the current budget of Tk 4081.80 crore, according to the social welfare ministry.

In the current fiscal year, the government kept Tk 2,400 crore for 44 lakh old aged, Tk 840 crore for 14 lakh widowed, deserted women and women repressed by husband, Tk 840 crore for 10 lakh insolvent disabled and Tk 1.80 crore for 2,500 transgender (Hijra) people across the country.

The amount of allowances will also be increased in the upcoming budget for fiscal year 20192020.

Poverty in Bangladesh has dramatically reduced following inclusive growth strategy under the bold and dynamic leadership of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, the official said.

The government has been implementing 145 programmes under social safety net initiative of different ministries. The Awami League government introduced social safety net programmes for the first time in fiscal year 199697.

Of the total allocation of Tk 5,052.37 crore, the government would disburse Tk 2,640 crore as allowances among 44 lakh oldaged people and Tk 1,020 crore among 17 lakh widows or women repressed by husband.

Tk 1390.50 crore would be disbursed among 16.45 lakh insolvent disabled people and each of them would receive monthly allowance of Tk 750.

The government has decided to bring all insolvent people, who are physically challenged (disabled), under the social safety net programmes, the official said.

According to World Bank (WB), Bangladesh's safety net programmes have shown to be effective at reducing poverty and improving gender outcomes. Despite Bangladesh's remarkable progress of lifting 16 million people out of poverty in the past decade, to support the poor and vulnerable, the government of Bangladesh implements a number of public social safety net programmes.

Bangladesh is on the highway of development under Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's leadership while it has been moving forward to become a middleincome country by 2021 and a developed one by 2041.

The Department of Social Service is also working to prepare a central database under the Management Information System (MIS) to identify all the real extreme poor under the social safety net programme.

The government has achieved tremendous socioeconomic development in the last 10 years with lessening more than 15 percent poverty rate. In 199697 fiscal, the government, led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, introduced senior citizens allowance with providing Tk 100 per head to some 4,03,000 beneficiaries.

Now, the government is providing oldage allowance, widow allowance, allowances for divorced women, disabled allowance, distressed women allowance, poor pregnant women's allowance, and remuneration for financially insolvent freedom fighter.

It is also running the Vulnerable Group Development (VGD), Vulnerable Group Feeding (VGF), Test Relief (TR) and Food for Work programmes.

Source: Bangladesh Sangbad Sangstha (BSS)