Finance Minister Abul Maal Abdul Muhith Wednesday said the Palli Karma Sahayak Foundation (PKSF) will be remodelled to address future needs in tackling emergency and disastrous situation.
The new role will be designed in view of the PKSF's success in reducing poverty in the country including from Monga-hit area.
"The word 'Monga' is no more applicable and should be omitted from the dictionary of the country," he said while addressing the closing ceremony of a project titled 'Programmed Initiatives for Monga Eradication' (PRIME).
The PKSF conducted the PRIME since 2006 in greater Rangpur and it was extended to the south-western region and Jamalpur area covering 50 upazilas with the objective to alleviate extreme poverty through income-generating and non-income generating activities in famine-like areas.
Chaired by PKSF Chairman Qazi Kholiquzzaman Ahmad, the function was also addressed by senior secretary of the Finance Division Mahbub Ahmed, PKSF Managing Director M Abdul Karim, Deputy MD Dr M Jashim Uddin, Executive Director, InM professor MA Baqui Khalily and team leader of growth and private sector development of DFID, Bangladesh Keith Thompson. Some beneficiaries of different areas also spoke on the occasion.
Monga is a famine-like situation of income deprivation resulting from lack of work opportunities in pre-harvest time during the months of September-November and February and April in north-western region.
The finance minister said improvement in the situation of extreme and ultra poor condition does not mean poverty has ended in the country but it indicates that such a situation will not exist after eight years.
He said Monga will not exist after 2024 though poverty will remain at a nominal rate for having physically challenged, elderly and widowed sections in the country as a responsibility of the state.
The finance minister said time has now come to assess what state measures to tackle such kind of a situation are necessary to be adopted from now.
He said the PKSF was created in line with the Grameen Bank's success in micro finance but it has been institutionalised to bring discipline in micro- credit programme in the country.
The senior secretary said the country's progress in social indicators has proven its responsibility to work more for continuing the trend in the country.
He called for taking similar kinds of programmes in southern and west-southern regions without using the word 'Monga' as the country's social indicators show no such an example in the country.
The PKSF Chairman highlighted the success stories of the PRIME in some areas and said time has come to enhance productivity through taking private initiatives and entrepreneurship development.
He said due to diversified non crop activities, floods did not leave any impact in the famine-like areas for the last couple of years.