12mn deserving families to get cash assistance: Sania Nishtar

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Dr. Sania Nishtar Sunday said that the federal government will provide cash assistance of Rs 12,000 to over 12 million deserving families under Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program in the wake of COVID-19.
Addressing a press briefing here, she said an SMS service to get the assistance is continuing and millions of messages have been received on 8171. She said that the PTI government is running the biggest relief campaign in the country’s history.
Sania Nishtar said t is a one-time assistance and 144 billion rupees have been allocated for the purpose. She, however, said that additional resources may be earmarked if the demand for Ehsas Emergency Cash assistance is higher. She said quota for all the federating units, including Gilgit-Baltistan, and Azad Kashmir, has been allocated as per census, she said that Punjab has earmarked additional funds for 700,000 people and Sindh 250,000 people of deserving families.
The Special Assistant said that transfer of cash assistance will be ensured in transparent and rule-based manner. She said there will be three types of responses to people’s SMS seeking cash assistance, which include eligible, ineligible, and contact to your respective district administration.
She said employees of provincial and federal governments are not eligible for the assistance. She said at present we have database of employees of provincial and federal governments, Railways, Pakistan Post, and BISP, while data of autonomous bodies will hopefully be available in next 24 hours.
She said an SMS response will have to go through the wealth profiling test before becoming eligible for the assistance. She said existing Kafalat beneficiaries, who are getting regular cash transfer of 2000 rupees per month, will be given additional one thousand rupees; hence, they too will get a tranche of 12,000 rupees covering four months. She said under this category 4.5 million people will be benefited. She said higher eligibility or poverty threshold will be used to identify four million beneficiaries through the national socioeconomic databases, while another 3.5 million people will come from districts.
Regarding mode of payments, Dr. Sania Nishtar said that deserving families will get cash assistance of 12,000 rupees after biometric verification through over 18,065 sale points or retail shops of Habib Bank Limited and Bank Al-Falah across Pakistan. – TLTP

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