Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is set to launch tomorrow the disbursement of Taka 1,250 crore cash assistance among 50 lakh poor families hit hard amid the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will formally inaugurate the distribution of Taka 2,500 to each of the 50 lakh destitute families, affected badly due to COVID-19 outbreak, through mobile financial services (MFSs) from her official Ganabhaban residence tomorrow morning,” State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Md Enamur Rahman told BSS today.
The total fund of Taka 1,250 crore will be distributed among the 50 lakh families through the mobile financial services (MFSs) – bKash, Rocket, Nagad and SureCash, he said.
Through this cash support, nearly two crore people will directly be benefitted as on an average four members have been counted in each of 50 lakh families, the minister said.
Enamur said the total fund will be disbursed between May 14 and 18, and 10 lakh people will get the cash support through the MFSs every day.
About the selection of families, the state minister said their list has been prepared with the poorest 50 lakh families of the 1.25 crore vulnerable families who are now getting the government’s relief assistance.
PMO sources said the list has been made by a committee comprising district administration, upazila administration, union parishad chairmen and members, teachers and distinguished persons of the society.
The low income group people including rickshaw and van-pullers, day-labourers, construction workers, agriculture workers, employees of the shops, workers of private business organisations, poultry farm workers, bus and truck workers and hawkers have been included in the list.
They do not have to pay any fee for drawing the money as the government will bear its cost, the sources said.
In addition to these 50 lakh families, there are two crore people of 50 lakh families who are now getting government assistance under the vulnerable group feeding (VGF) cards, the sources added.
Besides, a huge number of people including freedom fighters, elderly persons, widows, the physically-challenged and women abandoned by the husbands are receiving different allowances under various social safety net programmes.
Earlier on Monday, Finance Division has released Taka 1,257 crore for the cash assistance to the 50 lakh families. According to Finance Division officials, Taka 627 crore was disbursed for the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) from the Budget-1 wing while Taka 630 crore also for the PMO from Budget-3 wing. The PMO is supervising the operations of this initiative.
Nagad, a joint venture of the postal division and a private firm, will distribute the highest amount of Tk 425 crore, while market leader bKash will disburse Tk 375 crore, Rocket Tk 250 crore and SureCash Tk 200 crore, sources at the Disaster Management and Relief Ministry said.
The prime minister will later kick off the distribution of stipend and tuition fee among the students of bachelor degree and its equivalent level of 2019 academic year through mobile/online banking, a source at the PMO said.
Earlier, the prime minister announced a set of stimulus packages of nearly Taka one lakh crore which is 3.5 percent of the country’s GDP to offset the economic fallouts of coronavirus outbreak on the country.
She also declared a Taka 5,000 crore incentive package for agriculture sector to boost crop production to fend off the possible COVID-19 impact.
Sheikh Hasina simultaneously announced a stimulus package of Taka 5,000 crore for export-oriented industries to fight the impact of coronavirus.