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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan is scheduled to visit Gilgit-Baltistan today (Friday) to inaugurate three key Ehsaas initiatives in the region.

The PM will land in Gilgit where he would be announcing the rollout of Ehsaas Nashonuma, Ehsaas Secondary Education Stipends and Ehsaas One Woman One Account initiatives across GB, according to an official statement.

The PM will also announce Ehsaas Secondary Education Conditional Cash Transfer (CCT) programme for secondary school going children of deserving households.

The new Secondary Education CCT has been structured along the lines of Ehsaas Stipend Policy that allocates higher stipend amount for girls as compared to boys, the statement said. Children of underprivileged households will be provided conditional cash grants of Rs 2,500 per quarter for male child and Rs 3,000 per quarter for girl child on fulfilment of 70 per cent attendance in school.

This programme will commence from the next financial year and will be launched in all districts of GB.

According to official data, eight Ehsaas Nashonuma centres have been set up in three districts of GB; Diamer, Astore and Kharmang. Nashonuma aims to improve nutrition and health in minor children. A total of 1,408 beneficiaries (children and mothers), so far, have been enrolled under Nashonuma in these three districts of GB and will get specialized nutritious food to prevent stunting in children along with cash stipends; Rs 2000 for female child and Rs 1,500 for male child, per quarter.

One Woman One Bank Account Initiative envisages setting up saving accounts for Ehsaas Kafalaat beneficiaries. The initiative will formally be launched in district Hunza Nagar and will be scaled up nationwide.

Since the launch of Ehsaas Programme in March 2019, several Ehsaas initiatives- Ehsaas Kafaalat, Ehsaas Primary School Stipends, Ehsaas Nashonuma, Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship, Ehsaas Interest Free Loans, Ehsaas Emergency Cash among others have been rolled out across GB to benefit marginalized populations.

Under Ehsaas Interest Free Loans initiative, small interest-free loans worth Rs 1.24 billion have been disbursed among 30,903 beneficiaries in nine districts of GB; Gilgit, Astore, Ghanche, Ghizer, Hunza, Kharmang, Nagar, Shigar and Skardu.

Through Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship programme, 1,178 scholarships have been awarded to deserving students of GB in the year 2019-20.

Ehsaas Emergency Cash worth Rs 1.42 billion was disbursed in GB among 124,534 beneficiaries last year to financially assist downtrodden segments of society whose livelihoods were affected by government's lockdown measures against coronavrirus.

Under Primary Education CCT, 58,288 deserving children are benefitting from the quarterly stipends (Rs 2000 for girl child and Rs. 1,500 for boy child per quarter).

To identify new deserving households for Ehsaas Kafaalat programme, the Ehsaas survey is currently around 44 per cent complete in GB. The survey is scheduled to be completed by June 30, 2021.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021