Meeting of Focal Point Officers on National Social Security held

Chair: Mr. Md Shamsul Arefin

Secretary, Coordination and Reforms, Cabinet Division

Date of meeting: 26 June 2022

Time: 11:00 AM

Venue: Meeting Room No. 22, Building No. 1, Cabinet Division, Bangladesh Secretariat.

The Chair welcomed all present and started the proceedings of the meeting. He said the government formulated a national social security strategy in 2015 to develop the country's social security system. This strategy is a long-term plan until 2026 to restructure the country's social security system according to a life cycle structure. The implementation of the first phase of this action plan for the year 2015-2021 has already been completed and the draft for the next phase 2021-2026 has been prepared.  He noted that the main objective of the social security strategy is to modernize the existing social security system, develop the distribution system and, above all, take action to fill the gaps in building a life-cycle social security system. To this end, the main objective of the second phase of the action plan is to reform the existing social security system in certain areas. The Cabinet then proceeded to conduct the proceedings as per the agenda of the Chair's meeting and to present the matter in detail.

Mr. Khaled Hasan in his presentation through PowerPoint Slide mentioned that social security is one of the priority programs of the Government of Bangladesh. The government has formulated the National Social Security Strategy in 2015 to develop the country's social security system and for the implementation of this strategy, the government has formulated a five-year action plan which will expire this year. As a result, the country's social security system needs to be restructured according to the life cycle structure for the next five years. Through the dedicated efforts of all, it has been possible to formulate a fruitful and effective draft action plan of the National Social Security Strategy in a timely manner.

Mr. Mohammad Khaled Hasan said that a number of workshops have been held with the participation of the Ministries for the preparation of the second phase of the National Social Security Strategy Action Plan through which a possible draft of the action plan has been prepared which was presented to the Central Management Committee on 26 June 2021. According to the decision of the meeting, the action plan has been amended, modified, or expanded as per the recommendations and suggestions received from various ministries.

He mentioned that one-day meetings and workshops have already been held with the participation of the ministries at different levels to formulate action plans. He further said that the National Social Security Strategy needs to be followed in formulating action plans. The vision is to build an inclusive social security system for all eligible for social security benefits so that the country can be integrated through greater human resource development and job creation while reducing poverty and inequality.

He said that the main objective of the National Social Security Strategy is to modernize the existing social security system, develop the distribution system, and above all take action to fill the gaps in building a lifecycle-based social security system. For this, there is no need to revolutionize the existing social security system. On the contrary, the main objective of the action plan will be to bring about reforms in certain areas.

Mr. Khaled Hasan mentioned that one of the issues that were included in the past action plan was the adoption of some large lifecycle-based programs, coordination of small programs, expansion of social security for the poor and pro-poor people, and above all development of a good governance system. He opined that in addition to the above, the action plan of the second phase needs to include a few more issues, such as city-centric social security, publicity strategies, disability and Covid-19. He informed the meeting that the draft action plan has been finalized by the Ministries in consultation with their subordinate departments/agencies and officially sent to the Cabinet Division. Following the decision of the Central Management Committee, the plan has been revised and the printing work will be completed by July this year and expected to be officially inaugurated by the honorable Prime Minister.

Decisions:

1) The Detail Implementation Plan was unanimously adopted for the implementation of the Maternal and Child Support Program raised by the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs.

2) The member of the Central Management Committee shall be the ex-officio desk officer in charge of social security of each ministry as the focal point officer.

3) As per the decision of the Central Management Committee, the work plan of the National Social Security Strategy will be completed by July this year and it will be officially inaugurated.

4) The CODI Cabinet may undertake training programs in this regard for the successful implementation and evaluation of this action plan.

5) The Central Management Committee (CMC) shall hold regular meetings in accordance with the provisions of this Committee.

At the end of the meeting, the Chair thanked all those present as there was no other issue to be discussed.