Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal earmarked Tk 1.1 trillion for social protection, which is 17.83 percent of the proposed Tk 6.04 trillion budget and 3.11 percent of the GDP.
It was Tk 955 billion in the current year's revised budget.
The government is taking various steps to widen the coverage of the social safety net in order to protect the country's poorest segment from unemployment and loss of income due to the pandemic, according to him.
The ‘Cash Financial Assistance’ programme launched in 2020 to provide cash transfers to low-income people will continue while the minister also made numerous proposals to widen the ambit of the social safety net.
These include extending the scope of the government's allowance scheme to cover poor elderly citizens in 150 of the most poverty-stricken Upazilas from the existing 112. An additional Tk 4.81 billion will be allocated to cater to the 800,000 new beneficiaries under the scheme.
The number of beneficiaries of the allowance for insolvent persons with disabilities will also increase by over 200,000, which will be accompanied by a Tk 2 billion increase in the budgetary allocation.