The Financial Express

Nagad makes primary stipend payment easier

Stipends through Nagad cut government’s distribution costs to a great extent

| Updated: April 16, 2021 14:03:46

Nagad makes primary stipend payment easier

With the stipends, distributed through a mobile app, joy has been brought to millions of families across Bangladesh.

Nagad, a financial arm of Bangladesh Post Office, has already delivered the government's stipends for primary and mass education transparently to the mobile wallets of ten million mothers of the students.

The beneficiaries can easily cash-out the sum from the nearby shops of Nagad entrepreneurs.

In the latest phase, Nagad distributed the stipends for the April-June quarter of 2020. According to the official sources, the guardians of the students will get the stipends for two more quarters (July to September and October to December 2020) along with the allowance for the purchase of educational materials for 2021 before Eid.

It will make the Eid festival more joyous for the students, officials said.

Monika Devi, a housewife at Fakirhat in Chattogram's Hathazari upazila, received her child's stipend through Nagad.

"I have never thought that the money would come to my mobile phone so easily. The money has come in very handy at this critical time. I don't have to go to the town to collect the stipend. Nagad is present next to our house. We can cash out the fund when needed," she said.

Nasrin Parvin of Satkhira Sadar upazila has similarly received her daughter's stipend in her Nagad account. She has already withdrawn the money from Nagad entrepreneur, who has an outlet next to her house.

Expressing gratitude to Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, Nasreen said, "Everyone should get the money in this way in the future."

Ganesh Pal Dipu, the headmaster of Amberkhana Colony Government Primary School in Sylhet, has been working on government stipends for several years. According to him, the process by which Nagad has created a national database to send money to the mobile phones of mothers has been a landmark initiative.

"The previous process was analogue. Teachers had to maintain many registers and ledgers. We had to sit for several meetings with schools before finalizing the list. The process involved a large amount of cash. So, teachers faced risks. Parents repeatedly enquired about the money. All of these are now things of the past."

After the distribution of stipends had been halted for almost a year, the Department of Primary Education (DPE) signed an agreement with Nagad in December last year at the instruction of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina. The disbursement of stipends through Nagad has ensured transparency, eliminated ghost beneficiaries, and reduced the government expenses to distribute the stipends and educational materials by a third.

Some fraudsters have sometimes swindled money from unsuspecting beneficiaries in fraudulent ways. In order to prevent the same incident from happening again, Nagad is making calls to the mobile phone of every beneficiary to raise awareness.

The beneficiaries may not read the SMS if a message is sent. So, they are being informed through IVR call that under no circumstances they can share the PIN (personal identification number), OTP (one-time password), or password of Nagad with anyone. If the PIN, OTP, or password of Nagad account are shared, there will be a risk for the stipend money to get stolen.

Nagad reminds them that Nagad will never ask the customer for the PIN, OTP or password.

Regarding the distribution of stipends, Tanvir A Mishuk, managing director of Nagad, said the timely decision made it possible to hand over the government's financial assistance to marginalized people even during the lockdown.

"It is also a great joy for me that the stipends of millions youngsters are distributed through Nagad, said Mishuk.

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