Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has inaugurated the cash-flow program of Taka 2,500 for each of the five million poor families so that they can address the lashes of the deadly coronavirus pandemic. The program will cost Tk 12,500 million.
She opened the program through videoconference from her official residence Ganabhaban on Thursday and said, "My only target is to dispel the sufferings of the people of every area and I want to achieve it.'' "There are many people whom I may not be able to provide so much amount of money. However, I could at least give a small amount so that none is deprived and we could extend support to all," she added.
The Prime Minister opened the program through Mobile Financial Services (MFSs). She also opened the distribution of stipend and tuition fees from her education assistance trust fund among the students of bachelor degree and its equivalent level of 2019 academic year through mobile/online banking.
Sheikh Hasina said, ''Everything has come to a standstill due to the COVID-19 outbreak pushing day laborers and downtrodden people into a danger. So, we've taken various measures considering their sufferings." She said, ''In the interest of the people, we have postponed the main programs of the Mujib Borsho and we've suspended some daily programs that are not needed to be completed at this time."
The premier said the low-income group people including floating persons, rickshaw and van-pullers, day-laborers, construction workers, agriculture workers, employees of the shops, small traders, barbers, ferry terminal workers, workers of private business organizations, poultry and dairy farm workers, transport workers and hawkers have become jobless due to the nationwide shutdown over the pandemic.
"We tried to save and manage money so that we could help them in the month of holy Ramadan," she said.
Sheikh Hasina said her government had earlier issued ration cards among five million families so that they can purchase rice at Taka 10 per kg under the open market sale (OMS) program.
"We are also carrying out social safety net programs and we have taken decisions to provide cash support of Taka 12,500 million to five million families excluding those who are getting assistance through ration cards, VGD, VGF and other social safety net programs," she said.
The total fund will be disbursed by May18, and one million people will get the cash support through the MFSs every day.
Sources at Prime Minister's Office said, the list was made by a committee comprising district administration, upazila administration, union parishad chairmen and members, teachers and distinguished persons of the society.
None has to pay any fee for lifting the money as the government will bear its cost.
It should be noted here that the Mobile Financial Services ((MFSs) Regulation was given by former Bangladesh Bank Governor Dr Atiur Rahman in 2011 which was one of the finest financial inclusions or tools in Bangladesh.
Against the backdrop of the allegation of corruption and mismanagement relating to government funds, incentives and relief materials meant for the poor people, this mobile financial service will help reduce all irregularities.
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