Social safety net gets Tk 1,07,614cr
DHAKA, June 3, 2021 (BSS) – The government has allocated around Taka 1,07,614 crore in the social security sector, which is 17.83 percent of total budget and 3.11 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in the fiscal 2021-22.
“The government has been working diligently to adopt and implement bold, strong, people-centric and inclusive policies in poverty reduction,” Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal read budget speech in the House today.
He said, “Our success in poverty reduction through pursuit of appropriate poverty reduction strategies, such as expanding social safety nets for people vulnerable to poverty.”
Kamal said the government has plans to reduce the poverty rate to 12.3 percent and the extreme poverty rate to 4.5 percent by 2023-2024.
He said Father of the Nation Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman cherished a dream to build a prosperous and strong Bangladesh with a human face, set an example of establishing a welfare state, by improving the living standards of the country’s poor, hapless, destitute and backward people.
During the brief period of Bangabandhu’s government, the Father of the Nation officially included social security programmes to improve living standards of poor affected by various natural calamities for the first time, the minister said.
He mentioned that at that time, VGD and food-for-work programs were initiated and families of martyred freedom fighters, war- wounded freedom fighters and persecuted women were brought under social security scheme along with micro-credit facilities for the poor people also started at that time.
“Following the path shown by Father of the Nation Bangabandhu, we have further expanded social safety net. In FY1997-1998, old age allowance was introduced for the first time and in FY1998-1999, various social security programmes including allowances for widows, deserted and destitute women were introduced. Disability Services and Relief Centers were established in FY2009-2010, allowances for working and lactating mothers were introduced in FY2010-2011 and honorarium for the freedom fighters was introduced in FY2013-2014,” Kamal added.
He said the government has taken steps to widen the coverage of the social safety net to protect the country’s poorest segment from unemployment and loss of income due to the pandemic.
From the FY22, the coverage of the deserving poor elderly people will be extended to 150 most poverty-stricken upazilas from the existing 120 upazilas, which will add 8 lakh new beneficiaries.
Similarly, the coverage is being increased for widows and destitute women, which will add 4.25 lakh new beneficiaries.
The government also proposed to increase the number of beneficiaries of the Insolvent Disabled Person Allowance Programme by 2.02 lakh as per the latest disability identification survey.