• Wednesday, Jul 15, 2020
  • Last Update : 04:20 pm

PMO official: Numbers failing three-step verification process won't receive cash aid

  • Published at 11:47 am May 18th, 2020
poor woman-old-aid-coronavirus-covid-19
File photo: An old woman sits in queue to collect government aid Mahmud Hossain Opu/Dhaka Tribune

PMO Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune on Monday morning

A top official at the Prime Minister Office (PMO) has said unverified phone numbers will not be allowed to receive cash aid from the government fund through mobile banking.

PMO Principal Secretary Dr Ahmad Kaikaus confirmed the matter to Dhaka Tribune on Monday morning.

A team, headed by Prime Minister Office (PMO), has been scrutinizing the list of five million underprivileged families, who had been considered eligible for Tk2,500 as cash aid from the government over the ongoing  shutdown due to the coronavirus outbreak across the country.

“We have already sent the cash aid to more than 750,000 people via mobile banking,” he said 

“Now, we are scrutinizing the list. After finishing scrutiny, we will disburse the cash aid as early as possible, and our target is to complete this process before Eid-ul-Fitr,” Dr Kaikaus told.

 “There is no option of corruption in this system, because it is totally based on the database. Some phone numbers might have come up several times on the list, but that doesn’t mean that they will get the money multiple times. A single mobile number will get the aid only once,” he added.

“Before the cash disbursement, three-step verification is needed. A person will only counted eligible for the aid when his or her national identity card number, profession and mobile number will match up with the database. It is an in-built process in the software.” Dr Kaikaus informed.

He also said as this cash aid distribution process via mobile banking is a new process, the government has been trying its best to complete the task within the shortest possible time.

PMO sources said more than one million out of five million phone numbers in the list did not qualify for the aid program.  

Talking to Dhaka Tribune on Sunday, State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Md Enamur Rahman said that a revision of the list of people eligible for the cash aid from the government through mobile financial services is now being made in this regard.

“The Prime Minister's Office and ICT Division are working on the matter. Within a day or two, the work will be completed," he said.

Earlier on May 14, Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina inaugurated the disbursement of Tk1,250 crore in cash assistance for five million poor families hit hard by the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown. Each family will get Tk2,500.

However, the initiative came under criticism of being marred with irregularities. In Habiganj, one mobile number was found used beside the name of 200 people in the list. Different media outlets also reported on the issue expressing concerns of corruption. A wave of criticism was also seen on social media.

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