Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina today announced that the minimum monthly allowances of the valiant freedom fighters will be raised to Taka 20,000 from the existing Taka 12,000.
“I think the current monthly allowance of Taka 12,000 is not enough. . . We will increase the amount to Taka 20,000 bringing the lower slots at one place,” the premier made the announcement while inaugurating the online disbursement of freedom fighters’ allowances.
The premier joined the inauguration ceremony virtually from her official residence Ganabhaban. The programme was held at Osmani Memorial Auditorium.
The electronic fund transfer (Government to Person- G2P) using Management Information System (MIS) will allow the freedom fighters to get their allowances directly to their bank accounts.
Sheikh Hasina said the government has introduced this G2P system for freedom fighters’ allowance as the gift of Mujib Borsha.
She said from now on, the freedom fighters would receive their allowances directly.
Earlier, the freedom fighters used to receive the allowance after every three months through upazila and district level authorities.
Regarding the hike of allowances, the Prime Minister said the government needs some time to allocate money for this purpose in the national budget, adding, “But, we will surely do it.”
Currently, the families of martyred war heroes are getting Taka 30,000 per month while that of war-wounded ones Taka 25,000.
Besides, the families of Bir Shreshtha, the highest gallantry award winners in the War of Liberation, are getting Taka 35,000 while the Bir Uttam are receiving Taka 25,000.
In addition, Bir Bikram and Bir Pratik gallantry award winners are receiving Taka 20,000 and Taka 15,000 respectively, while the rest of the freedom fighters are receiving Taka 12,000 per month as honorarium.
The Prime Minister noted that except for Bir Shreshtha and Bir Uttam, it is better to bring all the lower three slots at one place because all had participated in the Liberation War.
The Ministry of Liberation War Affairs and Bangladesh Muktijoddha Kalyan Trust together will fix it, she added.
Liberation war affairs minister A K M Mozammel Haque and secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh also spoke on the occasion.
Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) Secretary Md. Tofazzel Hossain Miah moderated the event.
An audio-visual presentation on the War of Liberation and freedom fighters was screened at the outset of the ceremony.
At the function, it was revealed that a total of 205,198 freedom fighters and their families have been receiving allowances, and in the last five years Taka 17,000 crore has been spent for freedom fighters’ allowances and others.
Now freedom fighters are receiving two festival allowances and Boishakhi allowance alongside monthly allowance. The freedom fighters who are alive, are also receiving victory day allowance.
The Awami League government after assuming power in 1996 had introduced a monthly allowance of Taka 300 for destitute freedom fighters.
Freedom fighters from Kaliakair upazila of Gazipur district, Fulbari upazila of Kurigram district, Paikegachha upazila of Khulna district,
Haimchar upazila of Chandpur district and Borolekha upazila of Moulavibazar district were connected virtually at the function. They expressed their gratitude and feelings after getting the allowance directly to their bank accounts.