Referring that allocation on disability head is only 2.07 per cent of total allocation for social safety net program and only 0.37 per cent of total national budget, experts at a webinar on Sunday observed that the allocation is insignificant in addressing the needs of persons with disabilities.
They also pointed out that nothing is mentioned in the budget about employment of persons with disabilities who lost their jobs and livelihoods due to corona. Monthly Tk 750 allowance for each person with disabilities is very negligible.
Access Bangladesh Foundation arranged the virtual post-budget reaction meeting titled “National Budget 2021-22: Status of persons with disabilities ” on Sunday jointly with Disability Alliance on SDGs Bangladesh, Democratic Budget Movement, Manusher Jonno Foundation, Disability Rights Fund, NGDO, VIPS, SDSL, PCPF, DCF, NCDW, Sitakund Federation, Turning Point and WDDF.
Khondekar Johurul Alam delivered address of welcome on behalf of Disability Alliance on SDGs Bangladesh. Co-Founder and Executive Director of Access Bangladesh Foundation Albert Mollah moderated the meeting.
Albert Mollah presented an analysis on the national budget 2021-2022 from disability perspective.
He also thanked finance minister for increasing the number of beneficiaries for disability allowance by 280,000 and allocating more Tk 2.0 billion for them.
Covid-19 has not been considered in allocating budget for persons with disabilities. Though a large portion of children with disabilities remains out of education, budget allocation and number of beneficiaries remain unchanged. This budget is conventional like previous years.
This budget is social welfare ministry centered but in the inclusive development concept the budget should be allocated ministry wise. There is no reflection in the budget on how to implement national disability action plan, disability laws and policies.
On behalf of the organisers, Ashrafun Nahar Misti, in the meeting, urged some demands to be reconsidered in the budget session of the parliament.
“Major demands include to allot minimum monthly disability allowance of Tk 1500 for each person with disability in accordance with National Social Security Strategy, initiate budget allocation for the caregivers of persons with severe type of disabilities like cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, mental disability, autism, those who need full time career, ensure student stipend for of all students with disabilities.
A total of 72 representatives from non-government organizations, international organisations, journalists, persons with disabilities, civil society and organisations of persons with disabilities (OPDs) attended.
Nasreen Jahan ended the meeting with thanks.