Cashless Panchagarh is Another Step Towards Smart Bangladesh

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People in remote areas in Panchagarh district are now enjoying cashless services utilising the opportunities of “digital Bangladesh”, a campaign initiated by Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina almost 15 years back, which is also a step towards building “Smart Bangladesh”.

Living in a hard-to-reach village, it was unthinkable before 2009 but now it is the reality as people are getting over 20 important services without any hassle from union parishads staying at home.

While visiting the Panchagarh Sadar Union Parishad complex, a beneficiary, Abdullah Al Faruk who is a businessman told BSS that he has received his required trade license just providing his NID number.

“This cashless system is facilitating any person to get his desired document just inputting NID number to the system as the officials can easily verify the right person scrutinising all relevant information of the person,” he said.

Faruk said that the official has provided him the trade license within 2-3 minutes after matching the required information from his NID.

“We’ve got rid of wastage of time and money which was unavoidable in the past,” he added.

This “story of the change” is not a far cry, rather it is the reality in Bangladesh of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina, which has been demonstrated in the last 14 and half years in the country.

Taking advantage of the Prime Minister’s Digital Bangladesh initiative, Panchagarh district administration took the measures to make the services technology dependent. Digital transactions are now being used to provide services, which has reduced time, cost and travel difficulties alongside offering quality services.

Another beneficiary told BSS that he is getting his necessary document when he is fulfilling the required information and NID number visiting the website through his mobile phone.

He said that even he is making the necessary payment through mobile financial service (MFS) to get the document staying at home.

Due to the initiatives of Awami League government, these necessary services are being availed quickly and MFS has also made it easier. As a result, revenue of government has increased, the hassles have been reduced and the desired service is become available.

A female beneficiary said that she has been receiving maternity allowance since last two years and collecting the allowance from the UP since one and half years. “Earlier, I had to go to different shops, but now, I am just providing finger print and receiving my allowance easily visiting the UP centre,” she added.

Halima Begum, who came to Panchagarh Sadar Union Parishad to collect the citizenship certificate, said that it was not so easy before. After obtaining a certificate in the Union Parishad, there was the trouble of getting signatures on it. Any person had to come himself/herself for his/her certificate. “Now, if you apply with the number of the NID card, the signed certificate will be issued. I like the system,” she added.

Panchagarh entered the cashless era as a digital transaction after Dhaka when this service has been introduced first in the Tirnoihat Union of Tetulia. With this, the Union Parishad (UP) of the marginal upazila has been added to Smart Bangladesh.

Cashless services later introduced to other UPs. The service receivers can take 20 services very easily from these. People are now getting this service from any part by visiting the uniontax.gov.bd website staying at home.

People are happy to get the service without suffering. The entrepreneurs of Union Digital Center have expressed their satisfaction that they can provide services through MFS without cash in a quick time online.

Deputy Commissioner of Panchagarh Jahurul Islam said that over 70,000 people of 43 UPs and three Pourasovas in the district have received service using this uniontax.gov.bd and pouroseba.gov.bd platforms.

An entrepreneur of Union Digital Center said that the online service was launched experimentally in Tetulia Upazila in the fiscal year 2019-20, but on 6 January this year, the activity of the service started in Tirnoihat UP of Tetulia upazila through the inauguration of Cashless Service. This has been added to 43 unions and three municipalities of Panchagarh along with seven unions of the upazila.

Before introducing this platform, any person in the manual system on an average has to visit the UP three times where 7-15 days and Taka would have required. But, in the digital and cashless system, he/she needs not to visit the UP.

Zahurul Islam said that after the introduction of the Digital Union Cashless Service, the revenue is being deposited directly into the UP’s bank account due to paying the service price on the digital payment gateway. As a result, the UP has no opportunity to manage the money, he added.

 He said the local government system is strengthened through cashless services and this is another step in the construction of “Smart Bangladesh”.

Source: TBS News