- The government has set up 8,280 digital centres across the country under the a2i programme
- Around 15,000 entrepreneurs are providing more than 300 public and private services, including banking and e-commerce ones from the centres
- Till 2021, the entrepreneurs have provided 60.50 crore services from the digital centres
Mohammad Al-Amin earns Tk10,000-12,000 per month working as a freelancer at Harian Union Digital Centre in Paba Upazila, Rajshahi.
The digital centre has been set up at the office of the union parishad chairman.
The government has so far set up 8,280 digital centres across the country under the Aspire to Innovate (a2i) programme of the ICT Division.
Around 15,000 entrepreneurs are providing more than 300 public and private services, including banking and e-commerce ones.
Till 2021, the entrepreneurs have provided 60.50 crore services from the digital centres.
"I am in the third year of honours. In addition to studying, I work in the digital centre. I earn a good amount from here," said Mohammed al-Amin.
"Here I work independently. The more I work, the more my income increases. Through this, it is possible to earn up to Tk2 lakh per month. Again, I do not have to pay any fee to the chairman's office from my income."
He mentions birth registration as the main service in the union.
"Many also apply for visas to go abroad," said Mohammed al-Amin.
"There is a fee of Tk20-50 for each job. The fee for different services is set by the government. So there is no opportunity to charge more."
"The government services can be provided easily from our digital centre. Those who are working here work as entrepreneurs," said Mofidul Islam Bachchu, chairman of Harian Union Parishad.
"In our union old age allowance, widow allowance, maternity allowance, disability allowance are given. Earlier, money was distributed from the chairman's office. There was a lot of harassment. But now applications are received online and money goes through mobile banking. So no one else needs to come here."
However, members at the union council said although activities are done online, they frequently face internet disruptions. So in order to make this service more popular, the internet speed has to be improved.
Meanwhile, the people in Paba Upazila have benefited the most from the complete online based activities at the land office. Now land mutation is done easily online by spending only Tk1,170. Currently, e-mutation service is provided from 512 upazila and circle offices.
Assistant Commissioner (Land) at Paba Upazila Sheikh Ehsan Uddin said people had to go through a lot of harassment for land mutation. Work could not be done even with paying money in different places. Now, these problems are no more.
Mainly birth and death registration, national identity card, passport, hajj registration, telemedicine, life insurance, overseas job application, agent banking, mobile banking, bus-air-launch ticketing, medical visa and doctor's appointment services are provided from the digital centres.
At the centres, people also receive services on mobile recharge, symbol sales, different types of computer and technical training, e-mail, compose-print-training, photography, photocopying, downloading government forms, knowing exam results, applying for university admission, applying for an online visa, agricultural advice, and information.
State Minister for ICT Zunaid Ahmed Palak said there would be no difference between urban and rural people in providing government services and everyone will get equal service.
"At the union level, digital centre activities are being conducted as the internet can be provided at affordable prices. Our goal is to deliver government services digitally to people across the country," he said.
"Earlier, bribery was rampant in issuing mutation of land. Even after paying money, people would not get their work done timely. Now that it is online, bribery has decreased."