The politicisation of poverty is on the rise as local political leaders select who will be the beneficiaries of any given social security programme. Besides, ruling party activists get preference when funds are handed out.
Moreover, a report by Khadya Odhikar Bangladesh and Wave Foundation claims that the actual poor often get excluded from the list because of interference by local political leaders.
"The listing process is heavily influenced by the local member of parliament, other representatives and political leaders. Government officials are even forcefully transferred if they do not include the names suggested by political leaders and MPs," it noted.
The report titled 'Position of Minorities in Social Security Programmes' was published at the annual conference of Khadya Odhikar Bangladesh.
Dr Khaliquzzaman, the chairman of the Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation and Khadya Odhikar Bangladesh presided over the event in Dhaka today, while Dhaka University Development Studies Department teacher Dr Asif Shahan presented the keynote address.
The report said the use of information technology is also on the rise. Projects are also being merged – 145 projects have been combined into 114 at present.
Gazi Mohammad Nurul Kabir, director general of the Department of Social Services joined the occasion as chief guest. He said, "The government spends Tk75,000 crore for social security programmes."
Terming the allocation insufficient, he emphasised the need for effective measures by using the fund in income generating activities for poverty alleviation.