The government has proposed to provide 30 kg of rice as food assistance to 50 lakh low-income families through OMS at an increased rate of Tk15 per kg under the new budget for the fiscal year 2022-23.
"We will continue this (OMS) programme in the FY2022-2023. In the lean season namely September, October and November and March and April food assistance of 30 kg of rice each month at the rate of Tk. 15 would be provided to 50 lakh low-income households," Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal said during the budget speech on Thursday (9 June).
During the pandemic, some 70,56,000 families were provided 30 kg of rice as food assistance at Tk10 per kg.
He noted that the government have been consistently providing rice and flour at subsidised prices with the goal of making food available to the low-income population while also containing the price spiral of rice through the OMS effort.
The Trading Corporation of Bangladesh on behalf of the government is selling essential goods to low-income people at a lower price, he added.
"We are distributing 5 lakh metric tons of rice and 5.09 lakh metric tons of wheat flour in the current fiscal year 2021-2022."
He also added that a significant portion of poor people has been brought under the social safety net to whom the government has the capacity to send cash digitally.
Finance Minister AHM Mustafa Kamal has placed the Tk6,78,064 crore national budget for FY23 at Jatiya Sangsad according to the top priority of safeguarding marginal people from inflation fuelled by the Russia-Ukraine conflict.
This is the fourth budget of the third consecutive term of the government led by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina and also the overall 51st budget of the country.
The proposed budget is Tk74,383 crore higher than the original budget size for the FY2021-22 fiscal year, which was Tk6,03,681 crore.