The finance ministry today is likely to release Tk 1,250 crore for 50 lakh poor families who have become jobless due to the ongoing shutdown for coronavirus pandemic. A list has already been prepared in this regard.
Earlier the government has announced that it would give Tk 2500 cash incentive for each of 50 lakh such families. The government will spend Tk 1250 crore for this. The finance division of the finance ministry may release the money today, sources said.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to inaugurate the disbursement programme on May 14. This activity will continue till Eid.
It is learned that the Prime Minister's Office, the Ministry of Disaster and Relief Management and ICT division are involved in the initiative. The families have been identified with the cooperation of district administration, upazila administration and union council.
According to the World Bank - about 15 percent of the country's population earns less than $ 2 a day, which is close to 2.5 crore. The government has considered 2 crore people here with 4 members per family.
Sources said the money would be paid to the families mainly through Mobile Financial Services (MFS). These include bKash, Rocket, Nagod and SureCash. In this case, the government is giving large subsidies to MFSs. MFSs will get taka 6 per thousand to send the money. The total cost of money reaching will be at taka 75 crore. This money will be paid by the government. Families will not have to pay any money. They will get the full amount (taka 2.5 thousand) as assistance.
The list includes rickshaw pullers, van drivers, day laborers, construction workers, agricultural workers, shop workers, workers in various businesses run by private enterprises, poultry farm workers, bus-truck transport workers and people of various professions including hawkers.
It is learned that the poor people who are currently receiving assistance from the government's food-friendly program are not included in the list. Work on the list was completed on May 8. Of course, the verification work is still going on.
Mohammad Wahidul Islam, Deputy Commissioner of Madaripur told Bangladesh Post, “We have already prepared a list of 55,000 people according to our allocation. The list has already been sent on Friday. Besides, we are preparing a special list of another 200 people and it will be sent shortly. According to my knowledge, the Prime Minister will inaugurate the programme on May 14.”
Dr. K M Kamruzzanan Selim, DC of Thakurgaon told Bangladesh Post, "A list has been completed, which is now being verified and sorted. After completing the verification work, we will start aid distributing. Before that, the Prime Minister may inaugurate the distribution programme on May 14. To this end, we have sent a list of 200. We may get 100 cards at that time.”
A model has already been set up in Tangail district with the help of ICT division. The list has been made following that model. District wise quota is also fixed for how many families will be given cash. However, the list of city corporations has been made under the supervision of the divisional commissioners.
On April 18, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said, there will be no food crisis in the country for the coronavirus outbreak. A plan has been taken considering the economy for the next three years.
According to the Ministry of Food, 77 lakh 9 thousand beneficiaries are being assisted through three types of food-friendly programmes OMS, VGD and VGF throughout the year. Due to Coronavirus, another 50 Lakh beneficiaries have been added to this food-friendly programme. Now the total number of beneficiaries will be one crore 27 lakh 9 thousand families.
A total of six crore people with four members in each family have been identified as beneficiaries. To prevent corruption in food distribution, these families will be assisted through QR (Quick Response) cards. There is hardly any scope for middlemen to commit any corruption.
Since the announcement of the coronavirus presence in the country, the poor people have so far received three types of assistance. Those are from private initiatives, through ward councilors of city corporations and chairmen of union councils in districts, and gifts from the Prime Minister. The government is using technology to re-list around 1.28 crore families and issue two types of cards. These are the OMS and the Humanitarian Assistance Card of the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief.