The government plans to bring in more people under its social safety net programme, including all disabled people, in the next budget as it looks to share the gains of the higher economic growth clocked in recent years with a larger section of the underprivileged in the society.
Some 14 lakh people will be added to the government’s core social safety net programme in fiscal 2019-20 to take the tally to 1.14 crore.
From last year the government began to put emphasis on increasing the number of recipients instead of raising the amount per person. Subsequently, seven lakh new beneficiaries came on board this fiscal year.
Currently, the total number of financially insolvent disabled people stands at 15.45 lakh. Of them 10 lakh have been receiving Tk 700 a month, and from next fiscal year all the financially insolvent disabled people will be brought under the net.
The amount of monthly allowance for them will also be increased by Tk 50 to Tk 750 per person.
The number of old age beneficiaries will also be increased in the next budget to make it 44 lakh from the existing 40 lakh. However, the amount of the monthly allowance will remain the same at Tk 500 per person.
Some 14 lakh widowed, deserted and destitute women currently receive Tk 500 per month.
The government plans to raise the number of beneficiaries to 17 lakh as the number of such women now account for 10 percent of the total women in the country, according to the Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics.
The number of beneficiaries under the maternity allowance programme for the poor would go up from 7 lakh to 7.70 lakh but the amount of allowance will not increase.
The government also has plans to increase the amount of stipend allowance at the primary, secondary and college levels.
The monthly stipend allowance at the primary school will be increased to Tk 750 from the existing Tk 700. At the secondary level the amount will be increased to Tk 800 from Tk 750 and at the higher secondary level Tk 950 from Tk 900.
At the higher education level, the amount would be Tk 1,250 from Tk 1,200.
The monthly allowance for freedom fighters will be increased to Tk 12,000 from the current amount of Tk 10,000.