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National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) has waived fee for the cancellation of CNICs (Computerised National Identity Cards) of those applicants who were declared eligible to receive financial assistance under Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme but they have died, besides reducing from seven days to 24 hours the time period of the related death registrations and resolution of thumb impression issues. Previously, NADRA was charging Rs 50 for the cancellation of the CNIC of any deceased person and his/her death registration. This fee has been waived off.

In the ongoing Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme, several instances were reported whereby the applicants received messages that either their parent or spouse was eligible for the programme whereas the same person (who was declared eligible) had died. Now, the applicants are required to bring the related death certificates from their respective union councils for death registrations at NADRA offices.

Apart from the death registration, another major issue involving the eligible applicants for Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme is related to thumb impression biometric verification. A source in NADRA told Business Recorder that thumb impression verification of elderly persons was a commonly faced problem. Keeping it in view, banks, government departments and telecom offices had exempted the elderly persons from biometric verification, the source said. In case, the eligible candidates for Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme are facing problems in thumb impression verification due to technical hitches, the same are removed, the insider said. However, in case the thumb impression cannot be verified due to old age, then NADRA issues an exemption receipt containing the inscription 'Not Verified' through its offices and private franchises offering NADRA e-Sahulat services, the source added.

Recently, Dr Sania Nishtar, the Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety, had taken up the issues of death registration and biometric verification with NADRA following which the Authority had opened its offices across Pakistan, Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Gilgit Baltistan (GB) to facilitate the beneficiaries of Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme and rest of the public.

Last month, NADRA had shut down its offices nationwide as a precautionary measure against coronavirus.

As soon as the identification and death registration process is finalized, the eligible candidates for Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme are required to contact BISP (Benazir Income Support Programme) offices in their tehsils/areas for easy payments. They can receive the cash assistance of Rs 12,000 after receiving the final notification on their phones. Moreover, NADRA has also extended the validity period of the eligible beneficiaries, which have expired, till July 2020.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020