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Dhaka Tribune

Social safety net allowance to be disbursed through MFS operators

Initially, a total of13,845 beneficiaries of eight Union Parishads (UPs) in eight districts under eight divisions would get their allowance through MFS operators

Update : 31 Aug 2020, 08:05 PM

Social Safety Net (SSN) beneficiaries would get allowance at their mobile wallet as the government is going to launch a pilot scheme to facilitate easy and hassle free disbursement through mobile financial services (MFS).

Officials said in the pilot scheme a total of13,845 beneficiaries of eight Union Parishads (UPs) in eight districts under eight divisions would get their SSN allowance through MFS operators.

Department of Social Services under Ministry of Social Welfare has taken the decision recently.

To this end, it also issued a letter to four top MFS operators in last week to run the pilot scheme. The operators are Nagad, bKash, SureCash and Rocket.

With the direct supervision of Department of Social Services, the amount will be disbursed through the government to person (GTP) system to avoid third party involvement, according to the letter.

Nagad Managing Director Tanvir Ahmed Mishuk welcomed the move of the government. “We think it is a very timely initiative from the government side and we are welcoming it,” he said while talking to BSS yesterday.

Nagad, a financial arm of Bangladesh Post Office (BPO), will run the piloting through disbursing SSN allocations to 4,114 beneficiaries which is almost 30 percent of the entire list.

Nagad will run the piloting in two UPs in Cumilla and Lalmonirhat districts, according to the letter issued by Department of Social Services.

Tanvir Ahmed Mishuk said “I believe that due to this initiative, the distribution of the SSN allowances will be transparent and simultaneously the beneficiaries will be able to get their allowances very easily and safely on time.”

Moreover, this step will also accelerate the digitization process of Department of Social Services for their regular work, he added.

Besides, market leader bKash will run the piloting for disbursing the allowances to 3,695 beneficiaries in two union parishads of Gopalganj and Sylhet districts.

bKash’s Head Of Corporate Communications Shamsuddin Haider Dalim today told BSS that at this moment, adopting MFS is the most transparent way to disburse the government’s social safety net packages directly to the beneficiaries.

“We applaud this timely decision of the government and bKash has been giving utmost importance to this government initiative to help achieve the vision of Digital Bangladesh,” he said.

Dalim said bKash will be sincerely careful about the implementation of the pilot project of the Department of Social welfare.

SureCash will run piloting on 3,331 beneficiaries in two union parishads of Bhola and Netrakona districts.

Rocket, a venture of Dutch Bangla Bank Limited (DBBL), will pilot on 2,705 beneficiaries in two Union Parishads of Nator and Khulna districts.

The list of the beneficiaries will be provided by the Department of Social Services. After the piloting, the MFS carriers will have to give a demo to the authorities.

The government has allocated an amount of Tk95,574 crore for SSN programme aiming to bring more elderly people along with physically challenged people and widows.

Earlier, in April Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had allocated Tk1,250 crore to help 50 lakh families affected by Covid-19 outbreak in the country.

Among the total 50 lakh families, Nagad disbursed the financial assistance to 17 lakh families while bKash to 15 lakh families, Rocket to 10 lakh families and SureCash to 8 lakh families.

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