At a time when the entire country is struggling to tackle Covid-19, some dishonest people took their fraudulent activities to a new level exploiting the crisis.
Even, they didn’t exclude the time-befitting cash disbursement scheme undertaken by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina.
The prime minister on Thursday inaugurated the disbursement of Tk 1,250 crore cash aid for five million poor families hit hard by the coronavirus pandemic.
Each family would be receiving Tk 2,500 cash support through mobile financial services (MFS) – bKash, Rocket, Nagad or SureCash ahead of the Eid-ul Fitr.
To implement the scheme, the authorities at Muriauk Union of Habiganj’s Lakhai upazila prepared a draft list of the helpless people of the locality and inserted their mobile numbers into it.
But it was seen that only four contact numbers were inserted against some 306 people. Additionally, although there is no resident of the union who belongs to Hindu religion, the list consists of some names that imply the individuals to be Hindu.
Even, the names of some rich and solvent people were allegedly found on the list.
However, Chairman of the Union Parishad Rafiqul Islam said the list is merely a draft that will be rectified later.
It was learned that a total of 1,176 residents of the union have been selected to receive financial assistance from the government. The draft list has already been handed over to the Upazila administration.
On the draft list, one common number was inserted against the names of 99 people. Besides, another was used against 97 names while two more numbers against 65 and 45 names.
The list of 1176 people contains a total of 20 mobile numbers.
Contacted, UP Chairman Rafiqul Islam shifted the responsibility to the Lakhau Upazila Nirbahi Officer.
He disclosed that they enlisted 730 helpless people from the union. “As the list was not completed in due time, the UNO took help from the staffers at his office and made the list in his own way,” he added.
He also claimed that the same kind of cases were reported from other unions.
When this correspondent tried to reach UNO Lusikanto Hajong, he didn’t receive the call.
Contacted, Advocate Mushfiul Alam Azad, Lakhai Upazila Parishad Chairman, said they have found many flaws and irregularities in the draft lists that were submitted recently. The lists of all 6 unions in the upazila have some problems, he added.
Md Kamrul Hasan, deputy commissioner of Habiganj, admitted said there are some errors in the list and those are being corrected.
Besides, a mobile number can be used against only a single person. “In no circumstances, more than one person will get the assistance through a single mobile number,” he added.
The DC also cautioned that if anyone tries to adopt the unfair means, he or she will have to face strict action.
Besides, those who are currently receiving other government allowances will be dropped from the list, added the DC.