The provision of financial assistance among the 12 million deserving families under the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme is scheduled to start Thursday (April 9) as part of the federal government's initiative to financially support the downtrodden segments of the society with a payment of Rs 12,000 to each deserving family.
The cash distribution was earlier scheduled to start from Wednesday (today) but rescheduled to Thursday in order to allow "applicants in maximum number" to register for the programme, it is learnt.
The federal government has upped the recipient locations to 18,065 including retail shops in collaboration with two private banks to distribute cheques, after biometric verification, among the deserving population.
The Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme is directly executed by the federal government under the supervision of Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Dr Sania Nishtar.
The programme envisages providing financial assistance to 120,000,00 families from across Pakistan under the 1.2 trillion Economic Relief Package approved by the federal cabinet last week with Prime Minister Imran Khan in chair.
Under Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme, each family would be provided Rs 12,000 in one go. Previously, the federal government was to provide this amount in instalments; Rs 3000 per month for four months.
Official sources told Business Recorder that over 40 million messages were received (by Monday afternoon) from the applicants seeking financial assistance under Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme, at the designated official number.
"Scrutinising the applicants in such a big number is a challenging task; to ensure that no undeserving applicant is offered cash grant while ensuring that no deserving applicant is ignored," officials privy to the matter told Business Recorder.
The scrutiny of the applicants is carried out by NADRA (National Database and Registration Authority) to determine whether the Computerised National Identity Cards (CNICs) that have applied for the cash assistance have any land, property or related assets registered in their names or they are genuine applicants," sources said.
Moreover, the sources said, NADRA has been tasked to ensure that any employee of the federal or provincial governments as well as any applicant receiving financial assistance from BISP (Benazir Income Support Programme ), Pakistan Bait-ul-Mal (PBM), or any other social welfare programme, is not declared eligible for Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme.
When the programme was launched, it was allegedly marked with procedural anomalies coupled with bureaucratic hitches related to the registration of those in need of financial assistance that created confusion and panic among the deserving population. However, the officials concerned claim that these shortcomings have been redressed.
Apart from Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme, the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) governments in Punjab and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa have respectively launched the Ehsaas Imdad Programme for the assistance of deserving families.
In Punjab, the Ehsaas Imdad Programme is executed under the supervision of Chief Minister Punjab Usman Buzdar. Earlier, this programme aimed to provide Rs 4,000 each to 2.5 million poor families in Punjab. Now, the amount to be provided to the poor families has been increased from Rs 4,000 to Rs 12,000.
The Insaf Imdad Programme in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is executed by the KP government under the supervision of CM KP Mahmood Khan. This package aims to provide Rs 2,000 to each poor family. The exact number of families to be provided assistance under this programme would be determined after a detailed survey, official sources told Business Recorder.