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LAHORE: To mitigate the hardships of low-income families in the province, the Punjab government is planning to introduce Ehsas Ration Discount Programme.

“Under this programme, which was a part of the Ehsas Punjab Programme, provision of edible items to deserving families would be ensured,” Punjab Finance Minister Muhammad Mohsin Leghari disclosed this while addressing a meeting of the Steering Committee of the Ehsas Punjab Programme on Wednesday. Advisor for Social Protection Senator Dr Sania Nishtar, Planning and Development Board Chairman Abdullah Khan Sumbal, and senior officials were also present at the meeting.

The Minister told the meeting that for the provision of edible items grocery stores would be made part of the digital ecosystem and for this purpose data from the National Bank of Pakistan, NADRA and cellular companies would be acquired. “This would ensure transparency in the programme as well as provide easy access to the targeted deserving persons,” he added.

Moreover, he said, the provision of treatment facilities to physically-challenged persons and financial assistance to low-income families would also be part of the Punjab Ehsas Programme while the Ehsas Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Act 2022 would also be approved to make the programme a success.

Leghari further said that Ehsas Desks would be set up in all districts to effectively implement this programme, which will provide necessary information and guidance to the targeted people at the grassroots level. “Moreover, Khidmat Centres would also be utilized for Ehsas Desks,” he added.

The Minister also stressed the need for adopting solid measures regarding the health of mother and child, and overcoming nutritional deficiency in children under the Ehsas Programme, adding that the establishment of a network of shelter homes and alimonies was part of this strategy, which would be made more useful. He emphasized that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) was the first political party to help families living below the poverty line.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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