The aid will be distributed through bKash, Nagad, Rocket and SureCash mobile financial services
Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina is set to launch the disbursement of Tk1,250 crore cash assistance on Thursday, to be distributed among five million poor families hit hard by the ongoing Covid-19 lockdown.
“Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina will formally inaugurate the distribution of Tk2,500 to each of five million destitute families, affected badly due to the Covid-19 outbreak, through mobile financial services (MFS) from her official Ganabhaban residence tomorrow [Thursday] morning,” Dr Md Enamur Rahaman, state minister for disaster management and relief, told BSS on Wednesday.
The total fund of Tk1,250 crore will be distributed among the five million families through MFSs such as bKash, Rocket, Nagad and SureCash, he said.
Enamur further said the total fund would be disbursed between May 14 and 18, and one million people will get the cash support through the MFSs every day.
About the selection of families, the state minister said their list had been prepared keeping the most impoverished families on it, out of the 12.5 million vulnerable families who are now getting the government’s relief assistance.
Earlier on Monday, the Finance Division released Tk1,257 crore for the cash assistance, BSS reported.
According to Finance Division officials, Tk627 crore was disbursed for the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) from the Budget 1 wing, while Tk630 crore was disbursed from the Budget 3 wing. The PMO is supervising the operations of this initiative.
Nagad, a joint venture of the Post and Telecommunication Division and a private firm, will distribute the highest amount of Tk425 crore, while market leader bKash will disburse Tk375 crore, Rocket Tk250 crore, and SureCash Tk200 crore, sources at the Ministry of Disaster Management and Relief said.
The prime minister will later launch the distribution of stipends and tuition fees among the students of bachelor and its equivalent level of 2019 academic year through mobile and online banking, a source at the PMO said.
Earlier, the prime minister announced a set of stimulus packages of nearly Tk1 lakh crore, which is 3.5% of the country’s GDP, to offset the economic fallouts of the nationwide Covid-19 lockdown, imposed on March 26 to contain the highly contagious and deadly disease.
She declared a Tk5,000 crore incentive package for agriculture sector to boost crop production, to fend off the possible Covid-19 impact.
Sheikh Hasina simultaneously announced a stimulus package of Tk5,000 crore for export-oriented industries to fight the impact of the lockdown.
Bangladesh has been under a lockdown since March 26, a week after the first death from Covid-19 was recorded in the country.
As of Wednesday, 17,822 cases of Covid-19 have been confirmed in the country since its first detection on March 8. Among them, 269 patients have died, and 3,361 have made full recovery.
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