A total of Tk 1257crore is set out from the budget to provide cash assistance to 50 lakh poor families impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic from day after Tomorrow.

“The Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will hand over Tk 2,500 each to ten families  May 14,” State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Md Enamur Rahman told Business Mirror.

Four mobile financing operators will have to send the Tk 2,500 with the cash-out charge to each family and for disbursement purpose, the government will bear only Tk 15 (0.6 per cent) for each disbursement, said Tanvir A Mishuk, managing director of Nagad, said.

Nagad will disburse the highest amount of Tk 425 crore followed by bKash Tk 375 crore, Rocket Tk 250 crore and SureCash Tk 200 crore.

The other operators will also get Tk 15 from the government but since their cash-out charge is higher they will have to send that full cash-out value to the beneficiary families, he added.

Besides, the government in another move, will  give food aid to the poor and low-income families who are battling food insecurity and hunger. A Quick Response (QR) code-based card will be prepared for families and the food will be distributed through it.

Only the cardholders will get food support from the government, which will eliminate corruption in the process, Dr. Enam added.

With the view to plugging the loopholes in the current distribution system, the ICT and Disaster Management and Relief ministries have created a database of poor households to assist.

The database initially has 50 lakh entries but once it is fully up and running there would be 1.20 crore beneficiary families, said officials at the two ministries.

The Access to Information programme (a2i) under the ICT Division is helping to develop the software for the database.

The database contains the National Identity (NID) number of recipients, their mobile phone numbers, address, the person’s age and the number of family members such that all duplications and other irregularities can be avoided, according to officials.

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