Poor to get priority in next budget: Kamal

Poor to get priority in next budget: Kamal
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said another budget for fiscal 2021-22 gives priority to the indegent section of folks while maintaining the lives and livelihood of most would get due emphasis within the next fiscal year because of the current COVID-19 pandemic situation.

“Our next budget will stay dedicated to the indegent people of the country. The poor community are certain to get priority in the next budget. We’ll also give priority to maintaining the lives and livelihood of the people,” he said.

The finance minister was replying to queries of reporters after chairing two separate meetings nearly on Cabinet Committee on Economic Affairs and the Cabinet Committee on Government Purchase (CCGP).

Asked if they are apprehending any ‘mismatch’ in the upcoming distribution of cash support or Prime Minister’s Eid Gift of Taka 2,500 each for some 33.39 lakh poor families, Kamal said according to the knowledge of the this past year, there is no mismatch, rather there is some delay.

He said the targeted marginal people of the country or the beneficiaries of such cash support are not so much technology friendly or they aren't fully capable of acquiring direct transfer.

“In such cases, there could take place some delay, but there will be no mismatch. The decision of the federal government in this reread is to make sure direct cash transfer and we’re attempting to this end. If the concerned system is fully developed and everyone comes under the system, then you'll be able to do a lot more work in less time,” he added.

The finance minister told a questioner that the Prime Minister is actively taking into consideration the matter and such financial support will be provided immediately.

As per the decision of the federal government, around Taka 834.73 crore would be distributed this time around among around 33.39 lakh low-income group persons who have been affected from the existing COVID-19 pandemic situation with Taka 2,500 each for per family through mobile financial services.

Asked about the federal government steps for the indegent in this lockdown period discussing the recent joint survey by Power and Participation Research Centre (PPRC) and the BRAC Institute of Governance and Development (BIGD) about the brand new poor, Kamal said the federal government accepts the data from the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS).
He said the BBS is yet to release any fresh data on the new poor due to the COVID-19 pandemic as soon as they release, it could be made public.

The finance minister said the mark of the federal government is to alleviate the indegent and bring them in to the mainstream of society and economy. “We’re working tirelessly to the end,” he added.

The BIGD and PORC survey findings showed that the financial shock induced by the pandemic has pushed 2.45 crore persons into poverty in a single year.
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