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The government would start one off Rs 12000 emergency cash transfer to 12 million poor families facing economic hardship following lockdown of the country subsequent to coronavirus under Prime Minister's relief package from Wednesday.
This was stated by Special, Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty and Chairperson Benazir Income Support Programme, Dr Sania Nishtar at a news conference on Sunday. It will be one off assistance of Rs 12000 to those who have been affected by the lockdown after the coronavirus, she added. She maintained that work is being done on fast track basis and so far 16 million people have applied for registration through SMS messages.
Dr Nishtar also stated that Sindh and other provinces also wanted to make payment to additional 0.7 million people and 0.3 million families respectively from their own budget through BISP and this would increase the number families to 13 million.
If numbers of applicants increase from 12 million families (67 million people), the program would further be expanded and additional funds may be sought from the federal cabinet, Nishtar added.
She said that there are three categories of 12 million families being provided financial support by the federal government with the 4.5 million existing families getting benefit under Ehsaas Kafaalat of Rs 2,000 would be disbursed additional Rs1000 emergency relief for the next four months and three million people affected by the corona and 4 million families one level higher from the bottom level would be identified by using socio-economic database.
Chairperson BISP added that provinces as well as Gilgit Baltistan and AJK government have been allocated quota on the basis of 2017 census for identification of 3.5 million beneficiaries by the district governments.
About the identification of process of cash transfer beneficiaries, she explained that a filtration process would be run through the list before being finalized with the objective to ensure that tax payers money reaches to the deserving families through a transparent manner without political discrimination as desired by the Prime Minister.
She said that a multi tiers filtration process to ensure that the system is not abused before passing on final list to the NADRA and two selected banks - HBL and Bank Alfalah for payment. SMS message would be sent to the eligible with directive to collect money from the banks and banks would be asked to disbursed payment after biometric verification.
Chairperson BISP said that the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has been asked to provide list of those account holders who had Rs 50,000 in their accounts while the BISP sought list of filers from the FBR for wreath profiling of those seeking cash transfer. We are also working with the Ministry of Industries on daily wagers and registered labour working in the industrial sector, she added, added Sania Nishtar.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020