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The Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety, Dr Sania Nishtar, on Wednesday said that the government had so far distributed Rs 65.249 billion among 5.437 million families across the country.
Taking to Twitter, she said that "to date, Ehsaas Emergency Cash disbursements of Rs65.249 billion have been made to 5.437 million families across the country for categories 1& 2."
Terming the feedback sent by people via social media of great importance, Nishtar said that she would hold a presser today (Thursday) and would respond to the questions and feedbacks given by the people regarding the Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme.
Almost 140 million (139.197 million) text messages were received at the federal government's designated short messaging service (SMS) number seeking financial assistance under Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme, of which 55.47 million were freshly registered applicants, upon the closure of the programme's registration last week.
The 55.47 million freshly-registered applicants have been identified as "unique" applicants given that they got themselves registered at the federal government's SMS facility for the first time, whereas 139.97 million applicants mainly included those already registered but sent text messages on the prescribed number to check the status of financial assistance, official sources told Business Recorder.
Till closure of the deadline on April 19, Rs55.039 billion were distributed among 4.586 million families under the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme, according to the data issued by Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division.
The relevant details suggest that Rs22,189,116,000 distributed among 1,849,093 families in Punjab, Rs18,478,044,000 distributed to 1,539,837 families in Sindh, Rs11,490,264,000 among 957,522 families in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Rs1,622,028,000 to 135,169 families in Balochistan, Rs842,196,000 among 70,183 families in Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK), Rs296,184,000 among 24,682 families in Gilgit-Baltistan and Rs121,428,000 were distributed among 10,119 families in the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).
Since April 9, the distribution of Rs144 billion to provide cash assistance of Rs12,000 each to 12 million deserving families was launched countrywide under the supervision of Dr Nishtar.
In the first phase of this two-week programme, which was completed on August 16, 4.5 million women already registered under Kifaalat Programme were provided cash assistance.
In the ongoing second phase, which started off on April 16, four million registered through National Socioeconomic Database, are being provided cash assistance.
In the third and last phase of the two-week drive, 3.5 million applicants registered through the government's designated SMS facility, web portal and district administrations concerned with the assistance of the relevant union councils, would be provided financial assistance.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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