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26 September, 2018 00:00 00 AM
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Maternity allowance plays crucial role for child care

BSS

Alongside the excitement of a new baby, Aklima Begum, 30, felt anxious for upcoming days since her fruit seller husband faced various crises to run their six-member family, reports BSS. But like many other poor mothers across the country, Aklima Begum, mother of two children, has got relief from anxiety by receiving maternity allowance under Social Safety Net (SSN) programme of the government. “It was very difficult for my husband to bear additional expenses during my pregnancy period and after the birth of baby. So, I was anxious. But, when I received Taka 3,000 for six months as maternity allowance through mobile banking, I bought necessary things for my baby,” said Aklima, who is living Shatbhai para under Sonargaon upazila in Narayanganj district.

She urged the government to give the allowance on monthly basis so that she can use the money for her child to remove additional burden on her husband.

Talking to BSS, Aklima’s husband Billal Hossain said “My family is comprised with my parents, wife, five year old son and eight month old girl. My business is running well but not enough for a six-member family.”  “So, I was very anxious. The amount of maternity allowance is small, but it is very much helpful for bearing additional expenses of my little child,” he added.

He thanked the government for increasing the amount of the allowance from Taka 500 to Taka 800 during current fiscal 2018-19. Maternity Allowance Programme Director AJM Rezaul Alam said the amount of the monthly allowance has been increased to Taka 800 from Taka 500 for ensuring proper nutrition of every child. In fiscal 2018-19, he said, the government allocated Taka 693 crore for maternity allowance which was Taka 380 crore in the fiscal 2017-18 and Taka 318 crore in fiscal 2016-17.

The number of recipients of maternity allowance has been increased to seven lakh from six lakh in fiscal 2017-18 and five lakh in fiscal 2016-17, he added. Rezaul Alam, also assistant director of the Women Affairs Department, said about seven lakh poor mother across the country will get their maternity allowance through the electronic payment system G2P (Government to Person).

 “We are working for disbursement of the maternity allowance through G2P. Under the system, more than 700,000 beneficiaries will directly draw the money every month by getting message of allowance through mobile apps and biometric verification,” he added.

He said the beneficiaries can choose any kind of option like post office, mobile banking or agent banking to receive the money. The system will ensure the beneficiaries getting allowance within a timeframe every month without any role of any middleman, he added.

He said the electronic payment system will create transparency in the process of giving allowances to the poor women. The electronic payment system will play an important role in the implementation of the Social Safety Net (SSN) Programme and in this way Bangladesh will achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), he added.

Earlier, Finance Minister AMA Muhith launched the G2P payment system by sending to over 8,000 poor women of seven upazilas the allowances under the government’s SSN programme to ensure hassle-free payment.

The upazilas were Sonargaon, Srinagar, Savar, Tungipara, Kaliganj and Bhoirab. In fiscal 2018-19, the government allocated Taka 64,177 crore for social safety net programme. This allocation has been increased to 2.53 percent of GDP and 13.81 percent of the total budget. In fiscal 2017-18, he said the government allocated Taka 48,524 crore for this programme, which was 13.06 percent of the total budget.

 

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Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman

Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

Editor : M. Shamsur Rahman
Published by the Editor on behalf of Independent Publications Limited at Media Printers, 446/H, Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1215.
Editorial, News & Commercial Offices : Beximco Media Complex, 149-150 Tejgaon I/A, Dhaka-1208, Bangladesh. GPO Box No. 934, Dhaka-1000.

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