More poor benefitting from safety net schemes

10 February, 2021 12:00 AM printer

A large number of rural marginal people across the country are getting benefits from the government’s expanded social safety net programmes (SSNPs) through the G2P system opened by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.

“Some 88.50 lakh rural marginal people are leading a better life overcoming economic hardship as they now getting assistance under the SSNPs, one of the ten special initiatives of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, through G2P system” said an official familiar with the process, reports BSS.

Talking to BSS, Social Welfare Secretary Mahfuza Akhter said Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the G2P system last month to ensure smooth disbursement of allowances to beneficiaries through mobile phone. “Bikash and Nagad are now disbursing the allowances,” she added.

“We are giving allowances through G2P system aimed at ensuring smooth disburse of cash to marginal section of people and identify any anomaly if existed,” she said.

According to sources, the government has expanded the periphery of SSNPs and implemented those to ensure food security of the marginal people.

He said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman started rural social welfare activities to change the fate and livelihood of the people and Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had taken up the scheme in 1997-98 for rural people welfare again.

“To attain the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, the government is working sincerely to eradicate poverty, to make the country “Sonar Bangla” as dreamt by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman,” the official said.

According to Department of Social Service (DSS), currently, a total number of beneficiaries of the four social security programmes is 88.50 lakh, which is about 14.28 percent more than the total beneficiaries of the previous financial year.

The government has allocated Taka 95,574 crore in the social security sector, which is 16.83 percent of total budget and 3.01 percent of GDP in the fiscal 2020-21, which was Taka 81,865 crore in the revised budget of FY2019-20, it said.

Last month, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated ‘Government to Person’ (G2P) system aimed at sending allowances directly to beneficiaries through their mobile phones.

The allowance beneficiaries are old age, widow, husband-abandoned women and insolvent physically challenged persons as well as education stipends to the physically challenged students.

According to official data, Bangladesh’s poverty rate as per the poverty line came down to 20% in 2020 which had been 40 percent in 2005. The poverty rate in 2020 as per the extreme poverty line or people living in extreme poverty came down to 10 percent which was had been 25.1 percent in 2005.

The government has been implementing 145 social safety net programmes. Around 49 lakh people get old-age allowance at Taka 500 per month around 20.50 lakh widows or women repressed by husband get Taka 500 each per month.

A total of 18 lakh insolvent disabled people are also receiving allowances at Taka 750 each per month. The government also expanded number of stipend for physically challenged people to 1.0 lakh.

Actually the government increases the number of beneficiaries to 10 percent, but considering Covid-19, an additional 4.27 percent increased or 3.30 lakh people have been brought under the allowance.

Besides, widow and old age allowance will be provided to 100% eligible people in 112 poverty prone upazilas in the country and all persons with disabilities will come under the allowance this year. In the fiscal year 2020-21, there was an allocation of Taka 74.23 crore for a               

total of 17,675 residents of government children’s families and other residential institutions.

The capitation grant for 1.0 lakh orphans in the financial year 2020-21 is Taka 240 crore and Taka 43.26 crore for 10,300 orphans in government orphanages.

Under the poverty alleviation programme, the government disbursed Taka 707.2762 crore as interest free micro-credit among 43,06,206 people so far.

In FY 2020-21, another Taka 50 crore has been allocated under rural social service programme, Taka 22 crore under rural maternal center (RMC) programme and Taka 1.82 crore under rehabilitation programme for burn and disabled persons.

Palli Matrikendra activities play an important role in empowering women in rural areas, providing economic self-reliance.

At present, the programme is being conducted by setting up maternal centers in 14,806 villages of 494 unions in 492 upazilas under 64 districts of the country.

In the last 45 years (1975 to June 2020), 13,7,026 rural destitute women have been enrolled as members of the Maternal Centers and out of this Taka 189,50,20,000 was disbursed among 9,70,696 women by imparting vocational training in various professions to empowerment them.

Urban Social Service Activities (UCD) is an introductory programme under the Department of Social Services. The programme has been carried out for socio-economic development of the poor people of the city.

At present, the programme is being implemented through a total of 80-city social service offices including all city corporations and district towns.

One of the activities of the city social service is being implemented successfully with aim of implementing the vision of establishing a prosperous and caring society in the interest free microfinance at urban areas. The capital of the programme rose to Taka 51,04,68,000 so far and the number of beneficiaries are 1,39,875 families.