Govt allocates Tk 122cr for poor during pandemic

The government has allocated Tk 122 crore to support the low-income group of people across the country during the pandemic.

The Disaster Management and Relief Ministry has distributed Tk 2.5 lakh for each union or Tk 500 per head to support the poor and the distressed families financially from the relief fund in the coming Ramadan month, ministry sources said.

Following the restrictive measures taken to battle the coronavirus due to the ongoing seven-day lockdown, the government has now decided to distribute the money earlier, they said.

They mentioned the amount of the allocation would be increased in case the government extends lockdown for more days.

The government imposed a seven-day lockdown since April 5 to control spread of the second wave of Covid-19 pandemic.

Experts suggest that Covid-19 restrictions on people’s movement and economic activities badly impact on the poor and the low-income communities.

Among the fresh allocation, the relief ministry will distribute Tk 4 crore under the vulnerable group feeding programme before the coming Eid-ul-Fitr.

Besides, the ministry has allocated Tk 7 crore to provide the target groups with dry food.

Md Mohsin, secretary to the disaster management and relief, told media that the deputy commissioners in 64 districts were instructed in a virtual meeting on 6 April to launch distribution of the relief money within a couple of days.

He said, local administration would distribute the relief money among the unemployed and the distressed. Local people representatives would prepare the list of target people.

With the allocation of Tk 7 crore (Tk 70 million), seven essential food items including rice, lentils and sugar would be distributed among the target people.

Meanwhile, the stock of rice in government warehouses has declined significantly.

According to the food planning and monitoring unit of the food ministry, 4.85 lakh tonnes of rice was stocked in the government warehouses till April 4, 2021, though the rice stock was 15.86 lakh  tonnes in the same period of previous year.