Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Dr. Sania Nishtar has said Federal Government will provide cash assistance of 12,000 rupees to over 12 million deserving families under Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program in the wake of COVID-19.
Radio Pakistan reported that she spoke at a news briefing in Islamabad on Sunday, she said an SMS service to get the assistance is continuing and we have received millions of messages on 8171. She said that the PTI government is running the biggest relief campaign in country’s history.
Sania Nishtar said is a one-time assistance and 144 billion rupees allocated for the purpose.
Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program
She, however, said that additional resources may earmarked if the demand for Ehsas Emergency Cash assistance is higher. Quota for all the federating units, including Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Kashmir, allocated as per census, she said that Punjab has earmarked additional funds for 700,000 people and Sindh 250,000 people of deserving families. Transfer of cash assistance will ensured in transparent and rule-based manner. There will be three types of responses to people’s SMS seeking cash assistance, which include eligible, ineligible, and contact to your respective district administration. Employees of provincial and federal governments are not eligible for the assistance.
At present 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. An SMS response will have to go through the wealth profiling test before becoming eligible for the assistance. Existing Kafalat beneficiaries, who are getting regular cash transfer of 2000 rupees per month, will be given additional one thousand rupees; hence, they too will get a tranche of 12,000 rupees covering four months. Under this category 4.5 million people will benefited. Higher eligibility or poverty threshold will used to identify four million beneficiaries through the national socioeconomic databases, while another 3.5 million people will come from districts.
Furthermore Dr. Sania Nishtar said that deserving families will get cash assistance of 12,000 rupees after biometric verification through over 18,065 sale points or retail shops of Habib Bank Limited and Bank Al-Falah across Pakistan.