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ISLAMABAD: A meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet has approved indexation policy that would enable Ehsaas Kafalat beneficiaries to receive an additional Rs166 per month. An ECC meeting presided over by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin on Monday approved the request of the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division with regard to an indexation policy for cash transfers and allowed Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) to adopt an institutional mechanism for periodic update of regular cash transfer benefits to the Ehsaas Kafalat beneficiaries of the Benazir Income Support Programme.

The meeting was told that the beneficiaries would receive an additional cash of Rs166 per month due to indexation. A mechanism to this effect would be devised by a committee to be chaired by Secretary Finance with Additional Finance Secretary, Secretary Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division, Economic Advisor Finance Division, and one co-opted member for independent technical advice as members.

The terms of reference of the Committee would be to consider and recommend any adjustment of regular cash benefits of BISP that is an Ehsaas Kafalat Programme for inflationary reasons within a period of three years from last enhancement to the federal cabinet for approval. The Committee would also consider and approve any update/adjustment of cash transfers under BISP programmes other than Ehsaas Kafalat Programme.

The ECC approved the enhancement of Ehsaas Kafalat monthly stipend to the tune of Rs166 per beneficiary from January 01, 2022. The ECC also approved the additional funds requirement of Rs75 million of Ministry of Housing and Works in respect of three development schemes. The meeting approved a technical supplementary grant amounting to Rs43 million in favour of the Ministry of Housing and Works, allowed Information and Broadcasting Division for re-appropriation of the PSDP funds of Rs17.633 million through a technical supplementary grant, and interior ministry’s request of technical supplementary grant Rs30 million.

Similarly, the meeting approved Rs6 million TSG for Ministry of Narcotics Control, Rs317 million for Ministry of Science and Technology, and Rs54 million for Establishment Division. The ECC also approved arrears of contribution amounting to Rs3,369.62 million on account of Group Insurance Fund by the Finance Division on behalf of the Federal Government Non-Gazetted (BS-1 to BS-15) employees.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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