Wednesday, September 23, 2020 | ePaper

Rampant misuse of public fund under social safety net prog

65.6pc of aid gone to non-poor people: CPD

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Staff Reporter :
As many as 65.6% of government funds allocated for poor people under the social safety net programme (SSNP) have gone to non-poor people due to political pressure and corruption during the beneficiary selection process, said a survey report.  
The Centre for Policy Dialogue (CPD) published the report, titled "Efficiency of Delivering Social Protection Programmes in the North-West Region", and revealed its findings on Wednesday.
The survey was conducted based on the Household Income and Expenditure Survey (HIES) 2016 of Bangladesh Bureau of Statistics (BBS) on Nilphamari, Rangpur, Kurigram and Gaibandha districts.
These districts belong to the Rangpur Division, the poorest region in Bangladesh in terms of poverty level.
The survey also focused on the efficiency of the delivery of five core-lifecycle based social protection programs.
These include maternity allowance, primary and secondary school stipend programmes, employment generation programme for the poorest and old age allowance.
A total 1,500 households (HHs) with at least one SSNP beneficiary were interviewed using a semi-structured questionnaire.
As per the survey findings, about 65.6% among the intervieweres from the households receiving SSNP assistance were from the non-poor category, while only 34.4% of the assistance went to the actual poor.
For old age allowances, 32.2% beneficiaries were poor, while 67.8% were non-poor.  
Among maternity allowances, 41.5% of the beneficiaries were poor and 58.5% were non-poor.
In case of employment generation for the ultra poor, 49.6% recipients were poor and 50.4% were non-poor.
About 72% secondary school stipend beneficiaries were non-poor students and only 28% were poor students.
On the other hand, 63.8% recipients of primary school stipend were non-poor and 36.2% were poor.
Why the beneficiary mistarget?
Political consideration, corruption, nepotism and clientelism result in mistargeting of beneficiaries, the survey findings showed.  
"For example, according to the statements of a number of UP chairmen and members, and government officials during the field study, most of the targeting errors in case of maternity allowance and old age allowance occur in the form of cards being given away on political consideration," said Towfiqul Islam Khan, senior research fellow of CPD, during his keynote presentation.

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