More welfare schemes for war heroes
The government has proposed to expand welfare programmes for freedom fighters by increasing budgetary allocation and the number of beneficiaries, expressing its intent to protect them from vulnerability.
For the coming fiscal year, Tk 437.29 crore has been budgeted for the programmes, which is 0.33 per cent of the total budget outlay of Tk 1,32,170 crore.
Finance Minister AMA Muhith has divided the freedom fighters welfare programmes into three major categories, which are--rationing facilities for freedom fighters, increased allowances for insolvent freedom fighters and revitalizing freedom fighters welfare trust.
The highest allocation of Tk 360 crore has been proposed for the allowances of insolvent freedom fighters.
The monthly allowance has been increased to Tk 2,000 from Tk 1,500, with a widened beneficiary coverage of 1.5 lakh from the current 1.25 lakh.
This expansion of the scheme will cost the government an additional amount of Tk 135 crore on top of the current allocation of Tk 225 crore.
For rationing facilities of the freedom fighters, Tk 61.11 crore as honoraria has been proposed for distribution among 25,816 award winning and wounded freedom fighters.
The proposed budget also aims to provide a financial support of Tk 17.18 crore to Bangladesh Freedom Fighters Welfare Trust.
The minister, in his budget speech, informed that the government is considering raising the amount of grants made to the deceased freedom fighters' families.
Muhith said the government also thinks about finalizing a policy guideline to provide overseas medical treatment and VIP facilities to the award winning and wounded freedom fighters during the liberation War.
The minister said all freedom fighters will have an opportunity to travel free on trains, buses and launches as honoured citizens.
He also talked about the government's commitment to the task of preserving the memories of freedom fighters and great Liberation War.
Muhith said the 1st phase of construction work of the underground museum, plaza, amphitheatre and other structures has been completed at Suhrawardy Udyan in Dhaka.
He added the construction of the Freedom Fighter Complex in all districts would begin from FY 2010-11.