Hasan Mahmud slams BNP’s reluctance to appreciate government’s pension scheme

Information and Broadcasting Minister Hasan Mahmud on Friday, August18  came down heavily on a section of civil society and BNP for their reluctance in appreciating the universal pension scheme introduced by the government for building a social-welfare state.

The minister said, “Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina’s government has introduced a universal pension scheme for the well-being of the marginal people. Though it is an extraordinary initiative, BNP and a section of civil society failed to hail it. The culture of denial and politics of denial don’t bring any good for a state.”

While addressing as chief guest at the inaugural ceremony of Chattogram City Corporation-Red Crescent Physio Orthopedic Rehabilitation Center at Kadamtali in Chattogram city in the afternoon, Hasan Mahmud, also joint general secretary of ruing Awami League (AL) pointed out this.

The minister said the country’s remarkable progress in all sectors is gaining international appreciations but some ‘particular’ individuals and some political parties, including BNP cannot appreciate it. It is very much unfortunate for the nation. We have a mindset to welcome any critical opinion. But blind criticism isn’t good.

Describing the features of the pension scheme, the minister said it has four programmes and one of those is meant for the very low-income group. The government’s contribution will be same to the amount of individual’s contribution in that programme for ultra poor.

He Gave an example and said if an individual submits Taka 1000 per month, the government will also provide same amount under the programme. Some civil society members who didn’t appreciate the initiative might appear in future with what is wrong in the scheme. They don’t do anything but make criticisms

The minister recalled that after assuming office in 1996, Bangabandhu’s daughter Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina had introduced allowances for elderly people and widows with a target to build a humanitarian society and social-welfare state. Now the government is providing 22 types of allowances and 3000-3500 people are beneficiaries of those allowances from each union parisad of the country.

Hasan Mahmud said the government is ensuring houses along with lands to marginal people translating the dreams of thousands into reality. A large number community clinics have been set up at grassroots to reach healthcare at people’s doorsteps and hospitals are being modernized to provide quality service. Red Crescent Society attains confidence and love of the people, the minister said it can also contribute a lot in health sector.

He wished the orthopedic centre established under joint initiative of Chattogram City Corporation and Red Crescent Society will become a symbol of popular and trusted institution to the middle income and lower-middle income people.

Bangladesh Red Crescent Society Chairman Major General (Rtd.) ATM Abdul Wahab presided over the function while CCC Mayor Rezaul Karim Chowdhury inaugurated the event. Bangladesh Red Crescent Society Secretary General Kazi Shofiqul Azam, Treasurer MA Salam, its Chattogram City Unit Vice-President Alamgir Parvez, among others, spoke on the occasion.

The center was built a cost of around Taka 60 lakh with the personal funding of MA Salam, treasurer of Bangladesh Red Crescent Society.


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