Social safety widens eightfold in 13 years

Staff Correspondent

4 June, 2021 12:00 AM printer

The government has increased the allocation for social safety net for the people vulnerable to poverty to almost eightfold in the last 13 years for protecting the livelihood targeted inclusion of over 1.2 million beneficiaries in the next fiscal year.

Of the targeted beneficiaries, 0.8 million elderly people and 0.42 million widows and deserted women will come from the high poverty groups, according to budget speech.

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has proposed Tk 1076.14 billion for the upcoming fiscal year which is almost 7.77 percent higher than the allocation of Tk 138.45 billion in FY2008-2009.

In the last fiscal year, in response to the corona pandemic, the government had widen the social safety net focusing to save life and livelihood from the pandemic situation.

The proposed allocation in social safety net for the upcoming fiscal year is almost 17.83 percent of the budget and 3.11 percent of the gross domestic product.

One of the major initiatives in social safety net for the upcoming fiscal year is increasing the allowance for valiant freedom fighters around 60 percent. From now, a freedom fighter will get Tk 20,000, which is now Tk 12,000.

The government claimed to cover cent percent poor elderly people in the most poverty-stricken 112 upazilas have been brought under the coverage of 'old age allowance'.

From the next fiscal year, the coverage of the 100 percent deserving beneficiaries will be extended to 150 such upazilas belonging to the extremely high and high poverty groups. The initiative will add 0.8 million new beneficiaries and the government has proposed Tk 4.81 billion to this end.

To address the extreme poverty groups, the government aims to brings 0.42 million beneficiaries into the coverage proposing Tk 2.5 billion for next fiscal year.  

The number of beneficiary of the insolvent disable person allowance programme is projected to increase by 202 thousand and the government proposed Tk 2 billion to this end.