Ten lakh forty-five thousand beneficiaries are getting maternal and lactating mother allowances from the Women and Child Affairs Ministry.
“The government increased the number of beneficiaries from 9.5 lakh in 2018-19 to 10.45 lakh in the current financial year, aimed at supporting the distressed, helpless, destitute and pregnant women in society,” said a ministry official.
He said the government would give maternal and lactating mother allowance for three years and each maternal and lactating mother allowance beneficiary would get Taka 800 per month.
Besides, Vulnerable Group Development (VGD) is one of the largest safety net programmes of the present government, as 10.40 lakh destitute, oppressed, helpless, poor and divorced women are getting 30 kg of fortified rice for a two-year cycle each.
According to the ministry information, the Awami League-led government introduced the VGD programme in 1996-97 financial year and some 71 lakh women beneficiaries were given rice during a two-year cycle from 2009 to 2018.
In order to support the distressed, helpless, destitute and pregnant women in society, VGD programme was started in FY 1996-97. Along with that, maternity allowance and lactating mother allowance programmes are being operated since 2010-11 and 2007-08 respectively under the ministry of women and children affairs.
The government also introduced the electronic payment system G2P (Government to Person) so that the poor mother across the country could get their maternity allowance easily.
The electronic payment system will play an important role to implement the Social Safety Net (SSN) Programmes and in this way Bangladesh will achieve the sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
In fiscal 2018-19, the government allocated Taka 64,177 crore for social safety net programme. This allocation has been increased to 2.53 per cent of GDP and 13.81 per cent of the total budget.
In fiscal 2017-18, the government allocated Taka 48,524 crore for this programme, which was 13.06 per cent of the total budget.
In 2018-19 fiscal, the government allocated Taka 693 crore for maternity allowance which was Taka 380 crore in 2017-18 fiscal and Taka 318 crore in 2016-17 fiscal.
In 2019-20 fiscal, the government allocated Taka 1,61, 247 crore for women development which is 30.82 percent of total budget and 5.56 percent of GDP.