Safety net payout: Nagad spearheads in digitize disbursement

Published : 24 Jul 2021 07:45 PM

BSS, Dhaka

The mobile financial wing of the Bangladesh Post Office, Nagad, has made revolutionary changes in distributing the government's safety-net, stipend and different

financial assistance to the citizens by ensuring transparency and accuracy.

Among the mobile financial service (MFS) operators, Nagad has spearheaded in distributing financial assistance such as the Prime Minister's Eid gifts, social safety net allowance, primary student's stipends, Covid-19 cash support, etc,.

Nagad has channeled nearly eight crore government's payments to 2.5 crore unique beneficiaries only in fiscal 2020-21, Nagad Managing Director Tanvir A Mishuk told BSS.

Through this process, Nagad also helped in expediting the existing government safety net disbursement process, he said.

In 2020, the Prime Minister provided Taka 2,500 each to 50 lakh families as Eid gifts of which majority of the funds (17 lakh families) was disbursed by Nagad.

Besides, Eid gifts from the Prime Minister were given to 33.39 lakh families of which 14.97 lakh families were received by Nagad in 2021. In both the cases, the beneficiaries were also provided Taka 15 as cash-out charge from Nagad.

The government has also distributed its social safety net funds worth Taka 5,885 crore through MFS operators in the current year.

Nagad has disbursed 75 percent of the funds under four categories--old age allowance, widow allowance, allowance for unprivileged people with special needs and students with special needs, according to the statistics of Nagad.

Amid the attack of deadly Covid 19 virus and subsequent lockdown triggered by the pandemic, around one crore mother of some 1.4 crore students across the country has got a little relief when they received full stipend of primary school education for the fiscal 2020-21 and with a backlog of one quarter of 2019-20.

Nagad has completed the whole disbursement within three months after the government roped the MFS operator for the project.

  Diya Rani, a homemaker from Batiyaghata in Khulna, considered getting the stipend so easily as a blessing. "It is truly a blessing during this Corona gripped time. With the money we can educate our children and meet their other needs. Now, we get the money in our mobile phone so there are absolutely no hassles at all," she said

after receiving the stipend for her five grade children.

The government also provided financial assistance to 25,000 fishermen and 50,000 cattle farmers, who suffered due to Covid-19 pandemic, through Nagad.

In January last year, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina issued an order for all ministries and other government bodies to distribute their allowance and financial assistance through Nagad. Although some

ministries have obliged with the order but majority of the government bodies have yet to comply with it, said Nagad.

Tanvir A Mishuk said the government's vision of Digital Bangladesh  has become a reality with the digitalization of the economy.

"The MFS service in the country started 12 years back, but the disbursement of public funds started with Nagad. Initially there was a drawback as the hassle is huge and the profit is near to zero. But with the vision of Nagad we went ahead," he said.

"And for the first time in the country's history we have a refund case of undisbursed government allowance by Nagad. The false beneficiaries can be identified and we have refunded around Taka 385 crore to the Bangladesh Bank. Even the central bank had to take time to process the refunded money as there was no such precedent. So the

accuracy and transparency on distributing public money was ensured," he added.

The government also distributed government's financial aid to 300 institutions under the Technical and Madrasa Education Department and more than 8,000 teachers, staff and students to help during the Covid-19 pandemic.