The poorest of the poor must be sheltered from the harsh blow dealt by the current crisis
The pandemic has hit everyone hard, but the hardest hit, without a doubt have been the poor.
As such, it is now more important than ever to make sure they are protected, so that as the economy gradually opens back up this month, the poor can quickly get back on their feet.
In that regard, it is heartening to see the government expanding the country’s social safety net programs, this time with an aim to cover nearly 10 million citizens in the upcoming budget. It goes without saying that the top-most priority this year is dealing with the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, which will be a challenge unlike anything we have faced before.
The social safety net budget could see an increase of Tk1,633 crore, taking the total allocation up to Tk76,000cr. It is important, however, to see to it that those who need it most are indeed helped.
Experts have warned that in the aftermath of the pandemic we could see a wave of increased corruption. This would be a tragedy on top of a tragedy, and it is incumbent upon the government to make sure there is proper oversight.
In previous years, we have ambitiously had our eyes on infrastructure projects, and while they remain important, it must be remembered that developed must include all.
This means, the poorest of the poor must be sheltered from the harsh blow dealt by the current crisis, not only for the sake of humanity, but also so that they may recover quickly and become economically productive citizens who contribute richly to the nation.