The government will provide 50 lakh poor families impacted by the Covid-19 crisis a cash assistance ofTk2,500 each.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is set to inaugurate the initiative on May 14.
The listed families will receive the money through mobile financial services before Eid ul Fitr. The government is spending Tk1,250 crore for this initiative.
Alongside the cash assistance, the food ministry will also distribute 20 kilograms of rice to each of the listed 50 lakh families. In case the coronavirus pandemic's onslaught continues after May, the government will extend assistance to these families in June too.
The Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief will implement the rice distribution programme in June.
Speaking to The Business Standard on May 7, State Minister for Disaster Management and Relief Dr Md Enamur Rahman said, "The initiative is set to be launched on May 12, but it might get delayed for a day or two. These listed families will get assistance before Eid."
Meanwhile, finance ministry officials said the ministry had initially asked for Tk1,550 crore to provide cash assistance to 50 lakh families. The allocation process of Tk1,250 crore – TK2,500 for 50 lakh families each – is currently in its final phase.
The money will be disbursed within the next few days.
Responding to a query, relief ministry officials said the mobile numbers of poor families were collected while making the list. The money will be sent to them through bKash, Rocket, Nagad, SureCash or any other available service. No one will be getting the money in cash.
The mobile financial services will get Tk6 per Tk1,000 provided as cash assistance to those poor families. But they will not have to bear the burden of fees, as the government will take care of all related expenses.
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in April announced that assistance will be provided through new ration cards to 50 lakh families that became jobless due to the Covid-19 crisis. A list of eligible families was then prepared at the local government level.
The government is presently verifying the information of 10 percent of the listed families, in a bid to judge the accuracy of the list.