ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation D Sania Nishtar announced on Sunday that the payment process for the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme will commence from Wednesday.
The prime minister’s aide was speaking at a news conference during which she said that the programme had been initiated to support the poor and the daily wagers who were going through economic hardships due to the coronavirus lockdown across the country.
She said that the programme will give relief to the deserving people from all provinces, including Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Kashmir. Dr Nishtar said that the governments of Punjab and Sindh will contribute Rs700,000 and Rs250,000 to the initiative from their own budget.
Dr Nishtar said that the programme was aimed at providing relief to four million people across the country. People can check whether they are eligible to apply for the programme by sending an SMS to 8171. In reply, they will be told how to collect the money if they fulfill the criteria set by the government to determine who can be classified as a deserving person.
She clarified that the beneficiaries of this programme will be thoroughly scrutinized by making use of mechanisms such as data analytics, wealth profiling, average monthly bills, travelling history etc.
The prime minister’s aide said that federal and provincial government employees will not be eligible for the cash relief. “Presently we have database of employees of provincial and federal governments, Railways, Pakistan Post, and BISP, while data of autonomous bodies will hopefully be available in next 24 hours,” she added.
Dr Nishtar said the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program will help 12 million families by providing them financial assistance of Rs. 12,000 per family and the total budget approved for this initiative is Rs. 144 billion. She announced that the Kifalat beneficiaries, who were being given Rs2,000 per month, will be provided an additional Rs1,000.
Speaking about the mode of payment, Dr Nishtar said that deserving families will be given Rs12,000 cash after biometric verification through 18,065 sale points or retail shops of Habib Bank Limited and Bank Al-Falah across the country.