Bangladesh is moving towards a cashless society with mobile financial services (MFS) increasingly gaining popularity in the country, Post and Telecommunications Minister Mustafa Jabbar has said.
“We are not thinking of cash now-a-days in payment of bills as the MFS has tremendously progressed compared to the developed nations,” he said at a virtual discussion on Saturday.Telecom Reporters Network Bangladesh (TRNB) organised the event styled: ‘Digital Technology to Distribute Incentives: Ensuring Transparency and Accountability.’
The minister stressed introducing inter-operatively among the MFS providers to make the future cashless services more attractive.
TRNB president Rashed Mehedi conducted the webinar while its general secretary Samir Kumar Dey presented the keynote paper.
Social Welfare Minister Nuruzzaman Ahmed, Director General of Department of Social Welfare, Sheikh Rafiqul Islam, BASIS president Sayed Almas Kabir and Nagad managing director Tanvir A Mishuk attended at the webinar.
Posts and telecommunications minister said, “The present government has taken the social safety net programme to the hardcore poor through the digital wallets.”
“MFS is providing services from the beginning of COVID-19 crisis. It helped the country run its wheel of the economy,” he said.Jabbar said the 3G network became 4G during COVID-19 pandemic and data speed increased tremendously.
He hoped that high-speed broadband services will be available every nook and corner within this year.
Around 98 percent areas have already come under mobile phone network in the country, the minister informed.
Jabbar also said, “Bangladesh Bank should come forward to support apps-based MFS providers to make the people’s life easier.”
He said his division was working to make available postal service even at the grassroots level.
At the webinar, Social Welfare Minister Nuruzzaman Ahmed said, “It’s a great milestone for the government to send social safety net schemes the beneficiaries’ doorstep.”
At the keynote paper, Samir Kumar Dey said the government has allocated Tk 1.08 trillion for the social safety net programme in the fiscal year 2021-22.
He said the government has saved Tk 3.85 billion by distributing social safety net benefits through MFS.
Tanvir A Mishuk, Managing Director of Nagad, said the Nagad has distributed stipends for students and incentives to 104 million students.
“Previously, the government spent Tk 22 per one thousand which now has come down to Tk 7 helping the government save the money,” he said.
BASIS president Sayed Almas Kabir proposed inter-operatively among the MFS providers to introduce a cashless society.