Social safety net programs for the poor and vulnerable have been widened
The proposed budget FY2019-20 expects the poverty rate to be brought down by 10% in the next four years through a coordinated approach engaging the private sector to supplement the government’s anti-poverty initiatives.
“We are implementing a variety of programs for marginalized communities besides helping the people with disabilities,” Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina unveiled the budget in the Parliament on Thursday as Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal fell sick while he was presenting it for FY2019-20 fiscal year.
In the budget speech, she said the government has declared to reduce poverty to 12.30% and the extreme poverty rate to 4.50% by 2023-24, as Tk74,367 crore was proposed in the national budget for FY2019-20 fiscal year.
PM Sheikh Hasina said that the proposed budget allocation is 14.21% of total budget and 2.58% of GDP in FY20, while Tk64,404 crore was in the revised budget of FY2018-19.
The social safety net has widened in the proposed budget FY2019-20 - increasing the number of beneficiaries to Tk78.71 lakh up from the existing Tk66 lakh.
The number of elderly beneficiaries rose to 44 lakh from 40 lakh and number of widows or women being subjected to repression by husband to 17 lakh from 14 lakh.
The number of disabled persons with financial hardship increased to 15.45 lakh from 10 lakh.
The government have also increased the state honorarium for freedom fighters to Tk12,000 per month from existing Tk10,000. The number of recipients of stipends for disabled students to be increased from Tk90,000 to Tk1 lakh; and the rate of stipends to be increased from Tk700 to Tk750 for primary students, from Tk750 to Tk800 for secondary students, and from Tk850 to Tk900 for higher secondary students.
“To bring all third gender people under the social safety net, the number of beneficiaries of Third Gender Livelihood Development programs to be increased to 6000,” the Prime Minister said.
She said additional 20,000 beneficiaries resenting the gypsies and disadvantaged communities to be included in the current list of 64,000 persons, adding, “The number of beneficiaries of the financial assistance program for patients suffering from cancer, kidney, liver cirrhosis, paralyzed due to stroke and congenital heart diseases to be increased from 15,000 to 30,000.”
“Emphasis has laid to ensure the selection of genuine beneficiaries to enhance the effectiveness of social safety net programs. For this purpose, steps have been taken to establish MIS for all programs and database for all beneficiaries.
Payments are being made directly from the government to the beneficiaries through the Government to Person (G2P) system,” she reiterated.
Read the full budget speech for FY20 here.