MIS database for social safety net stressed

DHAKA : Speakers at a seminar yesterday underscored the need for a central database under the Management Information System (MIS) to identify all the real extreme poor under the social safety net, reports BSS.
The country has achieved tremendous socio-economic development in the last 10 years with lessening more than 15 per cent poverty rate. But about 3.85 crore people ( 24.5% ) are living still in poverty which need to be addressed properly under the safety net programme, according to a keynote paper presented at the national seminar on “Social Safety net Programme and Food Right in light of National Social Security Strategy (NSSS)” at city’s CIRDAP auditorium. The launching of the MIS database would address most of the allegations which have earlier occurred in the traditional data collection system,
The government is spending a significant allocation of the national budget for poverty eradication in the name of social safety net, said Executive Director of Right to Food Bangladesh and moderator of the seminar Mohsin Ali, adding but the implication of the programme is not up to the mark due to lack of selecting the real beneficiaries.
Oxfam in association with European Union, Right to Food Bangladesh and World Vision jointly organized the seminar with Right to Food Bangladesh and Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) Chairman Dr Quazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad in the chair.
State Minister for Social Welfare Nuruzzaman Ahmad spoke as the chief guest while Director General (DG) of The Department of Social Services Gazi Mohammad Nurul Kabir attended the seminar as the special guest.
To develop a computerized database under MIS, the government has earmarked Taka 3 crore in the budget and so far 28 lakh ‘beneficiaries’ have been enrolled under the system, said Gazi Mohammad Nurul Kabir.
DG said the selection of poor beneficiaries is being identified according to the government policy. The poor people are asked to come at the Union Parishad (UP) where UP Chairman would prepare a list after selecting the poor people.
“We hope the central data base system would be completed at the end of this fiscal year, said the Social Services Department DG, adding a significant progress has been done in this regard.” The launching of the MIS database would address most of the allegations which have earlier occurred in the traditional data collection system, he said.
In 1997-98, the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina introduced senior citizens allowance with providing Taka 100 per head to some 4,03000 beneficiaries across the country, but now it has increased to 31.50 lakh with the total allocation of Taka 1,890 crore, said the official.
Professor of the economics department of the Dhaka University Dr MM Akash, Country Director of Oxfam Snehal V Soneji, National Chief Advisor of World Vision Stphen K Halder, Executive Diretor of Dusto Shasthya Kendra Dr Divalok Singha and Care Bangladesh Director Anwarul Haq, among others, spoke on the occasion.