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June 25, 2021 7:19 pm
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Exclusive: Bangladesh digitises data of 88 lakh social welfare beneficiaries

Bangladesh Department of Social Services has set up a digital database of 88 lakh beneficiaries to make social security benefits more accessible to beneficiaries

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Dhaka — The Department of Social Services has set up a digital database to make social security benefits more accessible to beneficiaries. 88 lakh beneficiaries have been placed in this database.

Of these, more than 5 million people are receiving allowances at home through various mobile financial services. The department also said that all the allowances will be digitized by next June.

State Minister for Social Welfare Ashraf Ali Khan Khasru said that the Department of Social Services has completed the process of digitization. Through this, digitization has actually spread to the grassroots. In this process, the department is giving allowances to 49 lakh elderly people, 20 lakh 50 thousand widows and husbands, 18 lakh indigent disabled, and 1 lakh disabled students.

The state minister said, “All the ministries and departments of the government will be able to expand their range of services by adopting digital process.” As a result, the service will reach the doorsteps of the people. ‘

The Department of Social Services says a project called ‘Cash Transfer Modernization’ was taken up three years ago. Under the project, the process of disbursement of social security benefits to 88.5 lakh beneficiaries was to be digitized by 2023. It has been completed ahead of schedule. The entire allowance distribution process will come to the digital platform by next June.

According to the Department of Social Services, out of 88.5 lakh beneficiaries, 50 lakh accounts have already been opened, through which the distribution of allowances has started. The rest of the project will be completed within the next month and a half. As a result, there is no need to work for months to distribute the allowance.

The allowance is being disbursed mainly through two mobile financial service companies and agent services of three banks. In this case, allowances are being given to 12 lakh 13 thousand beneficiaries through agent banking of Bank Asia, NRBC Bank and Madhumati Bank.

Of the remaining 76 lakh 37 thousand people, 75 per cent allowances are being distributed by the postal department’s mobile financial services ‘Nagad’ and the remaining 25 per cent is being distributed by bKash. 57 lakh beneficiaries are getting allowances through ‘cash’ and 19 lakh allowances are being distributed through bKash.

In the current financial year, the government is distributing a total of Tk 5,885.64 crore under these four programs. Under the programs, the elderly beneficiaries and widow and husband abuse beneficiaries will get Tk. 500 per person per month. The government has allocated Tk 2,940 crore and Tk 1,230 crore for these two programs.

For the indigent, disabled people are getting taka seven hundred and fifty per month. The total allocation for them is Tk 1 thousand 620 crore.

There is an education stipend of Tk 95.64 crore for one lakh students with disabilities. Each student from secondary to undergraduate is getting government assistance of Tk 750 to Tk 1,300 per month. And all this money is being distributed through the digital process.

Beneficiaries do not have to spend extra money to cash out this allowance from the government. The government will provide Tk 7 per thousand to mobile financial service companies for the distribution of allowances.

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