Tk 1263b allocated for social security programme

Budget 2023-24Prothom Alo illustration

Finance minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has proposed an allocation of Tk 1262.72 billion for the social security programme, which is 16.58 per cent of total budget proposed for the fiscal 2023-24 and 2.52 per cent of GDP.

He made the proposal while unveiling the national budget in the parliament on Thursday.

In his budget speech AHM Mustafa Kamal said that social security programmes are one of the essential tools in achieving inclusive development.

He said poverty rates have declined significantly, with poverty and extreme poverty declining by 40.6 per cent and 68.2 per cent respectively compared to the poverty level in FY2009-10.

Behind this remarkable achievement lies the government's goal-oriented social security programmes, which have made significant contributions to the welfare of the country's disadvantaged, impoverished, neglected, vulnerable, and marginalised population, alongside regular economic activities, he added.

“We have systematically designed our social security programmes for the upcoming year, considering our government’s fundamental goals, objectives, and the current socio-economic situation,” he continued.

In the coming fiscal year, some proposals have been made for increasing the amount of allowances and number of beneficiaries in the social security sector.

The number of elderly beneficiaries will increase from 5.7 million (57.01 lakh) to 5.8 million (58.01 lakh), and the monthly allowance will be raised from Tk 500 to Tk 600.

The number of widows and destitute women beneficiaries will increase from 2.4 million (24.75 lakh) to 2.5 million (25.75 lakh), and the monthly allowance will be raised from Tk 500 to Tk 550.

The number of disabled beneficiaries will increase from 2.4 million (23.65 lakh) to 2.9 million (29 lakh). It should be noted that all those covered by the disability database have been brought under this allowance.

Monthly educational stipends for disabled students will be enhanced to Tk 900 for the primary level, Tk 950 for the secondary level, and Tk 950 for the higher secondary level from the previous rates of Tk 750, Tk 800, and Tk 900 respectively.

The number of transgender beneficiaries will increase from 4,815 to 6,880 and the number of special beneficiaries will increase from 2,600 to 5,620.

The number of beneficiaries of Life Improvement Programmes for the underprivileged population will increase from 69,573 to 82,503 and the number of special beneficiaries will increase from 45,250 to 54,300. Additionally, the number of scholarship recipients will increase from a total of 21,903 to 26,283.

The number of beneficiaries under the Mother and Child Assistance Programme will increase from 1.2 million (12.54 lakh) to 1.3 million (13.04 lakh)

In the employment Programme for the extremely poor and the daily wage rate will be increased from Tk 200 to Tk 400.

“In addition to changes in the number of beneficiaries and allowances, we have introduced a more targeted, transparent, and accountable approach to the social security Programmes by implementing the Government-to-Person (G2P) method,” he said.

Under this approach, already in 22 out of 25 cash based programmes each beneficiary is receiving monthly allowances directly into their preferred bank account or mobile account through Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) on a specified date.

In next FY the rest cash based programmes will be brought under G2P. Now over 80 per cent cash based social security programmes are being implemented through G2P.