The proposed budget expects the poverty rate be brought down by 10 per cent in the next four years through a coordinated approach engaging the private sector to supplement the government’s anti-poverty initiatives.
‘We are implementing various programmes for marginal communities besides helping the people with disabilities,’ prime minister Sheikh Hasina unveiled the budget in the House on Thursday as finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal felt sick while placing it for 2019-20 fiscal.
In the budget speech, she said the government has declared to reduce poverty to 12.30 per cent and the extreme poverty rate to 4.50 per cent by 2023-24, as Tk 74,367 crore was proposed in the national budget for 2019-20 fiscal.
Sheikh Hasina said that the proposed budget allocation is 14.21 per cent of total budget and 2.58 per cent of GDP in FY20, while Tk 64,404 crore was in the revised budget of FY2018-19.
She said Bangabandhu started the struggle for independence from this urge to free the people from poverty and exploitation, adding, ‘To this end, I, the worthy successor of Bangabandhu, have been continuing to emancipate people from poverty, as poverty is our main enemy.’
The social safety net coverage has expanded in the budget increasing the number of beneficiaries to 78.71 lakh including from the existing 6,602,500.
The number of old aged beneficiaries rose to 44 lakh from 40 lakh and number of widows or women repressed by husband to 17 lakh from 14 lakh. The number of insolvent disabled people increased to 15.45 lakh from 10 lakh.
The government also increased the state honorarium for valiant freedom fighters to Tk 12,000 from Tk 10,000.
The number of recipients of stipends for disabled students to be increased from 90 thousand to one lakh and the rate of stipends to be increased from Tk 700 to Tk 750 for primary students, from Tk 750 to Tk 800 for secondary students, and from Tk 850 to Tk 900 for higher secondary students.
‘To bring all third gender people under the net, the number of beneficiaries of Third Gender Livelihood Development programmes to be increased to six thousand,’ the prime minister said.
She said additional 20 thousand beneficiaries from the gypsies and disadvantaged communities to be included in the current list of 64 thousand persons, adding, ‘The number of beneficiaries of the financial assistance programme for patients suffering from cancer, kidney, liver cirrhosis, paralyzed due to stroke and congenital heart diseases to be increased from 15 thousand to 30 thousand.’
In the budget speech Sheikh Hasina assured that the number of beneficiaries of livelihood development programmes for tea-garden workers to be increased from 40 thousand to 50 thousand, number of beneficiaries of maternity allowances for poor mothers to be increased from 7 lakh to 7 lakh 70 thousand, number of beneficiaries under lactating mothers’ assistance programmes to be increased from 2 lakh 50 thousand to 2 lakh 75 thousand.
‘Priority is given for ensuring the selection of genuine beneficiaries to enhance the effectiveness of social safety net programmes. For this purpose, steps have been taken to establish MIS for all programmes and database for all beneficiaries. Payments are being made directly from the government to the beneficiaries through the G2P system,’ she said.
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