It is vital that the poor and those struggling to make ends meet actually receive this cash payment
With the Covid-19 pandemic wreaking havoc on all sectors of the economy and the general population at large, all attention was on the government to come up with solutions to help resolve the myriad problems already piling up.
To that end, the government’s latest stimulus package, as announced by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, is a laudatory move, and will no doubt be welcomed by the economy.
The stimulus package, worth Tk72,750 crore, consists of four main features -- increasing public expenditure, introducing fiscal packages, expanding social security programs, and increasing money supply.
While it is encouraging to see such a holistic bailout plan focusing on multiple segments of the economy, it cannot be stressed enough that we must ensure that this stimulus package is correctly used, and that the money reaches the people that it needs to reach.
Additionally, while the bailout money should undoubtedly help keep the economy and our different enterprises -- be they large scale industries or our micro, small, and medium enterprises -- afloat, there is still the matter of caring for the most vulnerable in our society, as they are the ones hit hardest by the effects of the coronavirus.
The economic fallout due to Covid-19 is already causing many job losses, not to mention its effect on our informal economy and the poorer communities in general.
Therefore, while direct cash payments are a part of the “expanding social security programs” feature, it is vital that the poor and those struggling to make ends meet actually receive this cash payment, and that when the authorities are planning the handouts, that everyone gets their due.
A government’s duty is to look after the health and well-being of all its citizens. As such, while the bailout is much needed, and will help our overall economy and many people, it must ensure that the poor and the marginalized are not left behind, and are also cared for.