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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday stated that the government would launch a programme from June 2021 to provide direct support to 30 million families with a view to insulating them from increase in the prices of essential items.

Speaking after the launch of Ehsaas Pilot Programme Koi Bhuka Na Soye (no one should sleep hungry), he said it was the beginning of a welfare state and this social-welfare programme would be taken to every area of the country.

He sounded confident that people would generously contribute to the success of the programme. The PM said that a completely new system of subsidy was being developed to provide targeted subsidy to the poor and deserving families.

The government would also provide direct or targeted subsidy to farmers to support them as the government would provide subsidy – most probably Ehsaas Food Stamp Programme – from June 2021 to 30 million families, he said, adding that the data to that effect had been completed by 70 percent and remaining 30 percent for providing subsidy to the poor families and farmers would be finalised before June 2021 to launch a food programme for the poor.

The PM said, “it is my dream to build Panah Gahs in every area” where needy people are provided sustenance and shelter.

He also referred to the health card scheme which will be provided to every family in KP and Punjab, stating that every family would be entitled to get treatment of up to Rs1 million from any hospital.

Earlier, the PM on his arrival was briefed how the food-laden vehicles would provide food to the poor and workers at various places identified by the Bait-ul-Mal.

Dr Sania Nishtar, special assistant to the prime minister on poverty alleviation, told the PM that the first model was being implemented at Rawalpindi-Islamabad in coordination through Bait-ul-Mal.

She further stated that mobile trucks would provide food to workers and the poor at various points thrice or twice a day.

Kitchen has been built at rooftops of mobile food trucks as part of the complete structure developed to make the programme successful, according to Dr Nishtar. The programme is being implemented through public-private partnership. The premier was also briefed about the ‘Panah Gahs’ working in different provinces and cities.

The prime minister visited a mobile food truck and launched the programme by distributing food to people.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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