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Saturday, 20 September 2008

Move to help poor out of poverty

The employment generation programme for the hardcore poor, seasonal unemployed people and marginalized farmers got off across the country from Monday to help them out of lean-time penury. Names of around a million seasonal unemployed have already been registered in 64 districts and some 1.59 lakh projects have been selected for providing them with works. The caretaker government has undertaken the budgetary measure for employment generation for extreme poor. Each of the beneficiaries under the recipe will get Tk 100 a day for work under the scheme. Registered unemployed people have been issued cards after enlisting. If the registered unemployed people could not be given appropriate job within 15 days after issuance of cards, they will get unemployment allowance. In such a case, they will get Tk 40 each daily for first 30 days and Tk 50 daily for the rest of the period, said a government announcement. The programme will last for 100 days and will be completed in two phases -- from September to November and from March to April. Projects have been selected by giving importance to works related to agricultural production. The 100-day employment generation programme is a positive and people-oriented programme aimed at helping the extremely poor and unemployed people. In an effort to materialize the caretaker government's pledge to create employment facilities for the extreme poor an amount of Tk. 2000 crore was earmarked in the budget for 2008-09 for this programme which is expected to benefit 20 lakh people directly and about one crore people indirectly. In view of this the programme is definitely a positive one as it will help the extremely poor and unemployed people earn some money to sustain and contribute to the reconstruction of roads and other works. The most important thing is that the people involved in the programme will regain self-confidence and the strength to continue struggle for survival. It is a matter of great relief and satisfaction that the implementation of the 100-day employment generation programme is progressing as expected much to the benefit of the needy people. However, it may be pointed out that in the past widespread allegations were raised of irregularities and corruption in the food for works Programme and the Money for works programme. In many cases those who worked did not allegedly get the remuneration while some others derived the benefit without working at all. The repetition of such malpractice or manipulation and misappropriation of the government money by the influential people will be most unfortunate.

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