Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Monday announced that the minimum monthly allowances of valiant freedom fighters will be raised to Tk 20,000 from the existing Tk 12,000.
The Prime Minister made the announcement while inaugurating the transfer of allowances to 168,000 valiant freedom fighters and their families through electronic fund transfer system from the Bangladesh Bank every month using the management information system (MIS), reports UNB.
Held at the Osmani Memorial Auditorium, Sheikh Hasina joined the programme from her official residence Gonobhaban.
"Now, I think, Tk 12,000 is nothing. There’re many slots at the bottom of the freedom fighters' list. We’ll increase the amount to Tk 20,000 bringing the lower slots of the list in one place," she said.
But to make it happen, it will require some time as the government also needs time to allocate money for this purpose in the national budget, Hasina said adding, "But, we’ll surely do it.”
Currently, the families of martyred war heroes are getting Tk 30,000 per month while that of war-wounded ones Tk 25,000.
The families of Bir Srestha, the highest gallantry award winners in the Liberation War, are receiving Tk 35,000 while that of Bir Uttams Tk 25,000.
Bir Bikram and Bir Pratik gallantry award winners are getting Tk 20,000 and Tk 15,000 respectively while the rest of the freedom fighters are receiving Tk 12,000 per month as honorarium.
"Except that of Bir Srestha and Bir Uttam, it is better to bring all the lower three slots at one slot because all had participated in the Liberation War," she said adding that the Liberation War Affairs Ministry and Bangladesh Muktijoddha Kalyan Trust will fix it together.
Briefly elaborating various programmes of the government for the welfare of the valiant war heroes of the country, Hasina said the government is providing homes for the homeless and address-less freedom fighters.
"As long as I’m there in the government, it will never happen that freedom fighters have no home and address, and they’re spending their days in misery," she said.
The Prime Minister also mentioned that the government will provide a livable place for everyone with livelihood. "We’re taking every step from the government to show respect to the valiant freedom fighters."
She also said the government has taken various types of projects to preserve the memories of the Great Liberation War. “The government has taken steps to preserve every mass graveyard that bears signs of atrocities committed by Pakistani occupation forces and their allies and companions.”
Hasina said the government is constructing Muktijoddha Complex in every upazila where there will be a small museum to preserve the materials related to the Liberation War.
Liberation War Affairs Minister AKM Mozammel Haque and Secretary Tapan Kanti Ghosh also spoke at the programme.
Through videoconference, the Prime Minister also talked to various beneficiaries in Kaliakoir (Gazipur), Fulbari (Kurigram), Paikgacha (Khulna), Haimchar (Chandpur) and Borolekha (Moulvibazar).