The government is set to increase the number of beneficiaries and the monthly allowances for transgender people under its social safety net programmes (SSNPs) in the next fiscal year.
The decision to raise the existing Tk600 ceiling by another Tk 100 came in an inter-ministerial meeting held at the Secretariat in Dhaka on April 30.
Some 7,550 transgender people will get the money in the 2017-18 fiscal year, while the current figure of the beneficiaries is 6,970.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith, who chaired the meeting, gave the go-ahead to facilitate the marginalised group in 64 districts.
State Minister for Women and Children Affairs Meher Afroz Chumki and Social Welfare Secretary Md Zillar Hossain, among others, also attended the meeting.
According the decision, the current existing allocation of Tk9 crore will see a Tk2.35 crore hike, soaring to Tk 11.35 crore .
In the ongoing fiscal year, the Social Welfare Ministry until March has spent Tk6.75 crore for for elderly transgender people.
Until the government expanded its allowance disbursement across the country in the 2015-16 fiscal year, the magrinalised community was entitled to the money in just 21 districts.
In the meeting, the concerned ministries and departments discussed various positive initiatives taken over the years to address discrimination the community usually faces.
Mentionable, the cabinet had decided back in 2013 that the transgender people or hijras could identify themselves as third gender.
When contacted, Chaity Hijra, a former research officer ICDDRB, said: “I have lived with two elderly hijras, who did not get the government benefits in the last four years”.
Social welfare official, whenever approached, said they duo did get the allowances as they were not enlisted in a survey conducted by the Social Welfare Ministry, Chaity added.
In May 2015, the cabinet committee on SSNPshad decided to recruit transgender people as traffic department of the police from the following fiscal year (2016-17), which is yet to be implemented due to various reasons.
The appointments of traffic police would be based on educational qualifications of the hijras.
Total beneficiaries of next fiscal year social safety net will be increased to 6.7 million from the existing 6 million.
The elderly allowance will rise to Tk 600, down from Tk 500 with the number of beneficiaries jumping to 3.5 million.
The allowances for widows , oppressed, and destitute women will go up to Tk 600 with a 10% increase on the existing 11,50,000 beneficiaries.
Moreover, the allowance for financially insolvent disabled people will be Tk 700 and their number will be increased to 8.25 lakh.
Cancer-affected people and those having dialysis will get a maximum of Tk 50,000 fund per annum.
The allocation for such people will be shot by by Tk30 crore to Tk50 crore.