Rs 12,000 to be given per family via ‘Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program’: Dr Sania Nishtar

ISLAMABAD: The government will provide Rs 12,000 per family under ‘Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program’, as assistance and almost 67 million people will be benefited with this new program, said Dr Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation.

She was of the view that during the week she will hold a press briefing on ‘Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program’, which she claimed would benefit 67 million people around Pakistan.

“I will do a press conference this week to explain how the “#Ehsaas Emergency Cash and SMS program” will be implemented”, Dr Sania said in a tweet.

Earlier in the day, Dr Nishtar announced that the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme had been approved for 10 million people, wherein Rs12,000 would be provided per family. In a Twitter thread, she noted that 67 million people in total would benefit from the new plan.

“Ehsaas Emergency Cash program” for 10 million afectees. Rs 12,000 per family. 67 million people will benefit (given household size). Daily wage earners are our top priority, whose livelihood has been badly affected by the corona-induced economic downturn”, she said in a series of tweet.

There are three categories in the 10 million, including 4.5 million existing ‘Ehsaas Kafaalat beneficiaries (all women)’ already getting Rs. 2000 will get extra Rs. 1000 emergency relief (total=Rs.3000) for the next 4 months, she maintained.

There are also three million afectees will be identified through national socio-economic database. Eligibility threshold will be relaxed upwards. Those with previous incomes upto 20,000 who have now suffered economic shock and are without livelihood will be helped, she said.

An SMS campaign, to be launched in 2 weeks will allow others, not currently enrolled in the database to seek assistance. District Administrations will conduct assessments speedily after SMS is received. Around 2.5 million will be identified through the Ehsaas SMS route, she said.

“Daily wage earners are our top priority, whose livelihood has been badly affected by the corona-induced economic downturn,” she said, adding that the affectees were put into three categories — 4.5 million existing Ehsaas Kafaalat beneficiaries, all of whom were women, 3 million affectees to be identified through the national socio-economic database, and around 2.5 million to be identified through the Ehsaas SMS route.

Eligibility for the second category, the special assistant added, would be “relaxed upwards” as the people who previously earned up to Rs20,000 and “have now suffered economic shock and are without livelihood” would be helped”. These people were not currently enrolled in the database, she clarified.

Data analytics will be used to ensure that the system is not abused. CNICs of those declared eligible will be passed to Ehsaas partner banks like HBLPak, BankAlfalahPAK and simultaneously an SMS message will be sent to them directing them to collect money through nearest bank, the tweet reads. adding, “We will ensure coronavirus protection measures during Ehsaas payments: use of hand-washing/disinfectants at cash disbursement sites, increase in number of Point of Sales”.

Dr Nishtar underlined that data analytics would be used to ensure that the system was “not abused”.

Read more: 892 coronavirus cases confirmed in Pakistan: Dr Zafar Mirza

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