The government to person payment system is a good initiative, but its coverage is only 6 percent of the total allocation, he added
Around 60 percent of emerging middle-income group of people have no access to social insurance and civil service pensions, said Dr Bazlul Haque Khondker, chairman of South Asian Network on Economic Modelling (Sanem) on Wednesday.
They are not getting any support from the government-announced 19 stimulus packages amounting to $10 billion, he added.
Dr Bazlul was presenting a keynote paper titled "Covid-19 and Social Protection Response in Bangladesh" at a webinar.
The government to person payment system is a good initiative, but its coverage is only 6 percent of the total allocation, he added.
Although there are more than 130 programmes under the social protection system, 70 percent of people in the country are not included in those.
There is also a mismatch between demography and spending from stimulus packages, he said adding that urban coverage is only 4 percent against 47 percent for rural citizens.
Fiscal response in Bangladesh has so far been weak. A rapid, bold, broad-based and forward-looking response is needed. This will not only save lives but also support livelihood through boosting economic growth
Bangladesh must learn from the current crisis and take actions to expand the government to person payment to 100 percent during the eight five year plan.
Tomoo Hozumi, UNICEF representative in Bangladesh, as a special guest, said Covid-19 has provided an opportunity to learn how to deal with such crises in the future.
The discussion was hosted by Sanem Executive Director Selim Raihan.
Ameeka Rahman, a senior research fellow at the World Bank, Sayema Haque Bidisha, research director at Sanem and Additional Secretary to the Finance Division Azizul Alam were also present at the event.