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Money should go to poor who are badly affected due to shutdown

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14th-May-2020       
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Finance Division has released Tk 1,257 crore for providing Tk 2,500 to each of the 50 lakh families, who are affected across the country due to the impact of coronavirus. This amount was released on Monday from two wings of the Finance Division.  Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is scheduled to inaugurate the operations of this fund disbursement programme for the poor families on May 14 and it is likely to continue till the Eid-ul-Fitr.
A Finance Division official said Tk 627 crore has been disbursed for the Prime Minister's Office from the Budget-1 wing while Tk 630 crore also for the PMO from Budget-3 wing. The PMO is supervising the operations of this initiative. In order to send this amount to the mobile bank accounts of the beneficiaries, Tk 7 crore has also been released as service charge.
Since this amount will be disbursed through the mobile financial services like Bkash, Rocket, Nagad and Surecash it is essential to note that the numbers of the people who are actually poor will be provided. The government should ensure that the database of the people who will receive the funds actually represent the poor people and not people who are linked to local political leaders.
Since there are over 4 crore families in Bangladesh these 50 lakh should represent the ultra poor--- those most deserving the aid. It would be a shame if those in higher socio-economic strata got the money than those who need it the most. Since the government would rely on local level political leaders to do the job it is essential that the people don't get cheated. There is no way of knowing whether there are adequate enough safeguards to ensure that only those in need get the money.

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