A monthly allowance of Tk750 for each person with a disability is negligible, they say
A budget allocation that is only 2.07% of the total allocation for social safety net programs and 0.37% of total national budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year is insufficient to address the needs of people with disabilities, said experts at a webinar on Sunday.
They also pointed out that the budget does not mention anything about the employment of persons with disabilities who lost their jobs and livelihoods due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
A monthly allowance of Tk750 for each person with a disability is negligible, the experts added.
Access Bangladesh Foundation arranged the virtual post-budget reaction meeting, titled “National Budget 2021-22: Status of persons with disabilities,” jointly with the Disability Alliance on SDGs Bangladesh, Democratic Budget Movement, Manusher Jonno Foundation, Disability Rights Fund, NGDO, VIPS, SDSL, PCPF, DCF, NCDW, Sitakund Federation, Turning Point and WDDF.
Khondekar Johurul Alam delivered the welcome address on behalf of Disability Alliance on SDGs Bangladesh. Co-Founder and Executive Director of Access Bangladesh Foundation Albert Mollah moderated the meeting.
Albert Mollah presented an analysis on the national budget FY22 from a disability perspective.
He also thanked Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal for increasing the number of beneficiaries for disability allowance by 208,000 and allocating Tk200 crore more for them.
Covid 19 has not been considered in allocating the budget for persons with disabilities. Although a large portion of children with disabilities remain out of education, the budget allocation and number of beneficiaries remains unchanged. This budget is conventional like previous years, speakers said.
This budget is Social Welfare Ministry centered, but the budget should be allocated ministry-wise as per the inclusive development concept. The budget does not show any way to implement the national disability action plan, disability laws and policies, they added.
On behalf of the organizers, Ashrafun Nahar Misti urged to reconsidered some parts of the budget.
"Major demands include to allot minimum monthly disability allowance of Tk1500 for each person with disability in accordance with National Social Security Strategy, initiate budget allocation for the caregivers of persons with severe type of disabilities like cerebral Palsy, intellectual disability, mental disability, autism, those who need full time career, ensure student stipend for of all students with disabilities,” she said.
A total of 72 representatives from Non-Government Organizations, International Organizations, journalists, persons with disabilities, civil society and Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs) attended.
Nasreen Jahan ended the meeting with a message of thanks.