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ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Thursday announced to complete “digitally enabled” Ehsaas Survey across the country before June next year — targeting to collect the socioeconomic data of citizens for identification of deserving households who would be eligible to receive social safety support from the government.

In line with the inclusive social protection policy of Ehsaas, survey results will facilitate proper targeting of poor households for the multitude of Ehsaas initiatives, particularly the new Ehsaas Kafaalat beneficiaries and households of deserving special persons, widows, orphans and labourers, Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD) said.

The survey was launched under Ehsaas Survey Model in August this year to determine the exact households in need of government’s social safety support.

The survey has already been completed in the district Karak and Malakand Division in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.

In district Sialkot of Punjab, the survey was launched on Thursday, PASSD said adding that the survey would be completed countrywide before June 2021.

Through the new approach, the data is being collected through teachers who have been trained to act as enumerators in designated enumeration areas, according to federal government.

The survey is being carried out in collaboration with the provincial governments and the Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS).

Enumerators go door-to- door and accumulate information at the doorstep.

Owing to the technical nature of computerized Ehsaas survey, massive training of master trainers, trainers, enumerators, and supervisors is an important element of the Ehsaas survey methodology, PASSD said in a statement. This is also critical to ensure survey quality, the statement added.

Government officials claimed the eligible persons for Ehsaas Programme are being identified from the most vulnerable groups in Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) through a combination of the existing socioeconomic registry maintained by Ehsaas, Short Messaging Service (SMS) registration and web-based registration with stringent verification processes.

The officials said the focus of this programme is on the fastest possible delivery by leveraging existing digital capabilities particularly data analytics, biometrically enabled precision payments and data driven accountability.

Presently, sources said the government prioritized Ehsaas Kifaalat Programme under which 4.27 million women beneficiaries are provided Rs 2,000 monthly.

Prime Minister Imran Khan launched the distribution of payments to Ehsaas Kifaalat beneficiaries for six months (July-December, 2020), last week. Under this programme, six-monthly payment of Rs 12,000 is being paid, at once, to each beneficiary. For this purpose, some Rs 51.24 billion have been released, sources told Business Recorder.

This assistance would be gradually extended to seven million women Kifaalat beneficiaries, the officials said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020