June 12, 2020


Bangladesh unveils $ 66.8 billion budget for FY21 to tackle pandemic

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has tabled a national budget of around $66.8 billion for fiscal year 2020-21 to propel the government's two-pronged efforts to salvage an economy affected by the coronavirus epidemic while safeguarding public health. The proposed spending plan, the biggest in the country's history, represents a 13% increase over the revised outlay for the outgoing fiscal year and is 8.56% higher than the main budget for FY2020.

Bangladesh’s budget expands social safety net in pandemic

The proposed budget for fiscal year 2020-21 is aiming to bring more people under the social safety net in an effort to alleviate the plight of lower-income and vulnerable groups which have been hit hardest by the ongoing coronavirus crisis. Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal proposed an allocation of Tk $11.2 billion in the social security sector, which is 16.83 % of the total budget and 3.01% of the GDP in FY2020-21. The funds will be used to implement and expand the coverage of various social security programmes designed to reduce poverty in the country.

Bangladesh boosts health budget by 23% to fight COVID-19

Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has proposed to raise the budget for health services in fiscal 2020-21, adding around $3.4 billion in allocation to deal with the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. This represents a 23% raise from the budget of the healthcare sector from the previous fiscal year. welfare. The government’s objective is to transform the health sector by developing a research culture in the country through formulating new policies or revising existing ones in coordination among different government departments.

Budget reveals four strategies for post-Covid recovery

In presenting the budget for the 2020-21 fiscal year, the Finance Minister of Bangladesh revealed four strategies of the government for post-Covid 19 economic recovery: Firstly, the government will discourage luxury expenditures and prioritize government spending that creates job; Secondly, the government is creating loan facilities through commercial banks at a subsidised interest rate for the affected industries and businesses; Thirdly, to expand the coverage of the government's social safety net programmes to protect the extremely poor and low paid workers of the informal sector from the sudden loss of their source of earning due to pandemic. And finally, to increase the money supply to the economy while making a delicate balance between increased money supply and possible inflationary pressure.

Government adopts $23.5 million project for jobless expat returnees

The government has proposed a $23.5 million loan scheme, for the fiscal year 2020-21, to assist the returned expatriates and those who have lost their jobs due to global pandemic. The amount will be disbursed through Palli Sanchay Bank, Probashi Kallyan Bank, Karmasangsthan Bank and Palli Karma-Sahayak Foundation (PKSF). Under the scheme, poor farmers, expatriate labourers, and young and unemployed youths will be provided with low interest loans to set up local businesses and boost self-employment.

Bangladesh introduces Covid-19 zones: Strict rules for stay at home

In line with an earlier announcement, Bangladesh has started enforcing the first day of the lockdown in the capital's East Rajabazar strictly, with no one except those on emergency duty, including doctors, nurses and journalists, allowed to go outside. The area was locked down on Tuesday midnight on an experimental basis after the area with some 500,000 people was put in the "red zone" in the face of rising number of Covid-19 infections and deaths. In the red zones, daily essentials were supplied to the residents as per requirements.

Bangladesh rolls out its own contact tracing app

Bangladesh has rolled out a contact tracing app on a trial basis to warn users if they have been near someone who later tested positive for the coronavirus and suggest the next course of actions in a bid to flatten the curve of Covid-19. To avail the service, smartphone users need to use the mobile application Corona Tracer BD. The app utilises Bluetooth and mobile data signals to understand whether a user is near another individual who was tested positive in the past and this will help users find out whether they are at risk of COVID-19. If a user is found to have been in contact with an infected individual recently, they would receive an alert. If the users' case seems risky, they will be able to seek medical help at the earliest and go into self-isolation.

23, Bangabandhu Avenue, Dhaka-1000. Bangladesh.

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