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Mannan vents frustration over disability allowance

  • Staff Correspondent
  • 4 January, 2022 12:00 AM
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Mannan vents frustration over disability allowance

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Planning Minister MA Mannan has expressed frustration over Tk 10,000 yearly allowance for the persons with disability (PWD) when the country’s per-capita income crossed $2,500.

“Disable persons still receive around Tk 10,000 as allowance per year, even though the per capita income of Bangladesh crossed $2,500 mark,” he said.

He said this at a webinar titled, "Disability Inclusive National Budget 2022-2023", jointly organised by Access Foundation Bangladesh and The Daily Star, in association with Manusher Jonno Foundation and UK Aid.

He also assured organisations, working on the rights of PWDs, that he will make an arrangement of a pre-budget discussion with the finance minister and secretary so that they can raise their voices and demands.

Albert Mollah, co-founder and executive director, Access Bangladesh Foundation, presented the position paper at the webinar and highlighted the current rights situation of the person with disabilities.

Although the adoption of development plans and budget allocations largely depend on statistics, there are no reliable statistics on the number of persons with disabilities in Bangladesh, he said.

The budget allocated for PWDs is also very inadequate, compared to the actual demand, he said.

Albert recommended an increase in the allowances based on the severity of their disability and a separate allowance and insurance for the 24-hour caregivers.

Urging for increasing the allowances for the PWDs, Khandaker Jahurul Alam, executive director, Centre for Services and Information on Disability (CSID), said PWDs get a monthly allowance of Tk 750 from the Ministry of Social Welfare, which stands at Tk 25 a day.

"How can a person survive with Tk 25 daily, when the per capita income of Bangladesh is 2,500 dollars?" he asked.

Nazrana Yeasmin Hira, coordinator, MJF, highlighted that the allocation for the PWDs must not be limited to social safety net budgets; rather, there must be more emphasis on upgrading their skills so that they can be self-reliant. "At the same time, we must increase our allocation for the inclusive environment for them and accessible infrastructure," she said, adding that government allocation must cover the arrangement for sign language interpreters in courts.

Jowaherul Islam Mamun, president, SWID Bangladesh; Murteza R Khan, CEO, Bangladesh Business & Disability Network, among others, spoke at the event.