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Prime Minister's Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr Sania Nishtar Thursday directed increase in the number of Nadra (National Database and Registration Authority) desks for the registration of the beneficiaries of Ehsaas Kafaalat programme in 15 selected districts across Pakistan.

The desks will remain functional for six months to facilitate beneficiaries.

Through Ehsaas Kafaalat, the government plans to give cash stipends through bank accounts to seven million "most deserving and poorest women all over the country," and to "improve access of women to mobile phones."

Corresponding to the launch of this venture, the Nadra has set up registration desks in the 15 districts, where the programme is initially launched, to be gradually expanded to other districts throughout Pakistan, it is learnt.

"As part of Ehsaas strategy, implementation of Kafaalat programme is linked to the readiness of Ehsaas National Socio-Economic Registry (NSER) survey. The Ehsaas NSER survey is currently underway and will be completed this year in three phases. To ensure inclusion of deserving women in the survey process, Ehsaas has mobilized Nadra's fully equipped self-registration centres in all districts across Pakistan linked to the district-wise completion of survey," an official statement said on Thursday.

In a related development, Dr Sania Nishtar visited Ehsaas Kafaalat registration desks set up by Nadra in Haripur.

"The visit aimed to oversee the self-registration process for deserving women in Kafaalat through on spot checking and feedback from people and officials. Despite heavy rains, the visit saw long queues of women who had gathered to get themselves registered under the Prime Minister's Kafaalat Programme under Ehsaas framework," the statement said.

Dr Nishtar stood with the applicant women in the queue who had arrived for Kafaalat self-registration, took round of the facility and interacted with women and officials to enquire about the current applicant care process and arrangements, it said.

She instructed the concerned officials to facilitate the women in registration process so that they do not have to wait for long hours, the statement said.

Dr Nishtar took keen interest in getting their feedback as well to improve the entire registration process.

She was observed to be fully involved in on-the-ground interaction with needy women and guided them about the process to come under the fold of Ehsaas Kafaalat programme, it added.

"Ehsaas firmly believes that field visits and spot checks are very crucial to factor in voices of needy women to improve Kafaalat operations. We will ensure that lessons from this on-the -ground consultation will definitely be drawn in the results-based implementation of Ehsaas Kafaalat," she was quoted as saying.

She, according to the statement, informed women that applications submitted through this self-registration drive will then be countered through data analytics to ensure inclusion and exclusion errors.

On the occasion, Dr Nishtar also issued directions to increase the number of the NADRA registration desks at registration centers to better facilitate the people, it added.

"At the visited sites, the beneficiaries were collecting the newly-released trance of Rs9,000 that includes the stipend of Rs 5,000 for the quarter July-September 2019 and monthly stipend of Rs 2,000 each for the months of January and February 2020," the press release said, adding that the introduction of the biometrically-enabled payment system aims to ease the payment process and to keep Kafaalat beneficiaries safe from fraudulent deductions.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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