Eastern Times Correspondent, Dhaka, 21 April: Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina has allocated Tk 10.50 crore for the poor people, affected by ongoing nationwide lockdown imposed to curb coronavirus infection.
The cash has been allotted in favour of the deputy commissioners to help the poor, destitute, floating and indigent people, who are worst victim of the lockdown, according to press wing of Prime Minister.
On 14 April, Bangladesh enforced the countrywide complete lockdown which was extended on Tuesday till April 28.
In the first week of April, the National Technical Advisory Committee on Covid-19 recommended a two-week strict lockdown as the Covid-19 pandemic hit the country harder in recent weeks.
On 18 April, the Prime Minister declared to provide financial assistance to some 36 lakh families who have been hit hard by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic and recent natural disasters.
The 36 families include 35 lakh low-income ones engaged in different occupations but hit hard by the current coronavirus situation, and the rest one lakh are farmers affected by recent natural disasters.
An amount of Tk 2,500 will be provided as cash support to 35 lakh families, while Tk 5,000 each will be given to one lakh families of farmers.
The government will spend a total Tk 930 crore to disburse cash among 36 lakh families as the allocation for Covid-hit low-income families is Tk 880 crore and for disaster-affected farmers is Tk 50 crore.
Out of 30,94,249 hectares of cropland in 36 districts, 10,301 hectares of cropland was completely destroyed while 59,327 hectares partially damaged due to strong winds, hailstorms and cyclones on 4 April, 2021. Some 100,000 farmers were directly affected due to the recent disaster, according to the data of the Department of Agricultural Extension.
Under the circumstances, the Ministry of Agriculture has recommended providing Tk 5,000 to each farmer as they are affected by double blows — natural calamity and Covid-19 pandemic.
The ministry has already started enlisting one lakh farmers incorporating their names, national identity card and mobile numbers in the list. The actual allocation for the farmers can be more or less depending on the number of farmers in the final list.
In the 2019-20 fiscal year, the government disbursed Tk 2,500 as cash aid to each 35 lakh families scrutinising a list of 50 lakh families hit hard by the first wave of the Covid-19 pandemic. The allocation for providing cash support to the poor families was Tk 1257.50 crore.
The Prime Minister in May 2020 inaugurated the disbursement of cash support through G2P (Government-to-Person) through mobile financial services (MFSs).
In the wake of the second wave of coronavirus, the government has enforced lockdown to prevent the spread of the virus.
In this context, the ministry concerned recommended providing Tk 2,500 as cash aid to each of 35 lakh families this time.