Why only Tk 19 crore disbursed for Rana Plaza victims?
ACCORDING to the anti-graft watchdog, Transparency International Bangladesh (TIB), Tk 108 crore of the Tk 127 crore deposited into the Prime Minister's Relief and Welfare Fund following the Rana Plaza building collapse is yet to be disbursed two years after the world's worst workplace disaster. This fund came from local sources, mainly commercial banks, in light of the disaster specifically for the victims and their families. That Tk. 127 crore had been donated to the Prime Minister's Relief and Welfare Fund was disclosed in parliament on July 13, 2013.
However, over the last two years, the government only allocated Tk. 19 crore to the victims and their families, giving rise to questions about when the remaining money would be disbursed among the affected. It is unfortunate and unacceptable that compensation remains elusive to many victims of Rana Plaza who are still living in utter privation, with no succor coming to them from the government.
What is even more perplexing is that, following the TIB report, the PMO has declared that it did not set apart a fund for Rana Plaza victims, and as such that the TIB statement is "misleading". However, given that the government had publicly pledged to use the donations made by various quarters to assist Rana Plaza victims, we believe that it should ensure that this fund is allocated towards rehabilitating and assisting those affected by the building collapse.
We urge the government to clear the confusion regarding the fund and make sure that the money deposited in the name of Rana Plaza victims is disbursed in a prompt and purposeful manner.