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Ehsaas Programme: A lot needs to be done to firm up cash transfer plan

The government decision to provide cash transfer to those earning up to Rs20,OOO monthly through Ehsaas Programme may take weeks owing to verification and registration process.
Published 01 Apr, 2020 12:00am
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The government decision to provide cash transfer to those earning up to Rs20,OOO monthly through Ehsaas Programme may take weeks owing to verification and registration process.
An official on condition of anonymity stated that this may have been the reason for the decision of Rs12,000 (four months' assistance) cash disbursement in one installment, or may be two installments of Rs6,000 each.
A lot of work is yet to be done to firm up a plan in this regard, he added.
Meanwhile, the BISP has also started registration of those in need of food ration and those willing to donate at Ehsaas ration distribution platform, said an official of the BISP.
Dr Sania Nishtar stated that Ehsaas emergency cash programme would be for 10 million victims, adding that Rs12,OOO per family would be provided to 67 million people (given household size).
She further stated that daily wage earners were government's priority whose livelihood had been badly affected by the corona-induced economic downturn.
There are three categories in the 10 million; (i) 4.5 million existing Ehsaas Kafaalat beneficiaries (all women) already getting Rs2,000 would be given additional Rs1000 emergency relief for the next four months; (ii) three million people affected by the corona would be identified through our national socioeconomic database and eligibility threshold would also be relaxed upwards. Those with previous incomes up to Rs20,OOO who have now suffered economic shock and are without livelihood will be helped through Ehsaas; (iii) An SMS campaign would be launched in two weeks that would allow others, not currently enrolled in the database, to apply for cash assistance.
The district administrations will conduct assessments speedily after SMS is received and around 2.5 million would be identified through the Ehsaas SMS route.
Data analytics will be used to ensure that the system is not abused.
CNICs of those declared eligible will be passed to Ehsaas partner banks - the HBL and Bank Alfalah - with an SMS message to the eligible to collect money through the nearest bank.
The BISP stated that it would ensure coronavirus protection measures during Ehsaas payments: use of hand-washing disinfectants at cash disbursement sites as well as increase in number of points of sale, distancing in queues, and use of new currency notes.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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