PESHAWAR: The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government has decided to begin a programme for poverty reduction and people’s welfare.

The decision was made during a meeting held between KP Chief Minister Mahmood Khan and special assistant to the prime minister on social protection and poverty alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar at the KP House in Islamabad on Monday, said a statement issued here.

The statement said the programme would be implemented in close coordination with the federal government to supplement poverty alleviation and public welfare efforts and prevent duplications.

Dr Sania briefed the chief minister about the Ehsas programme meant for poverty alleviation in the country and said the programme’s strategy had been articulated in four pillars and that it embodied 115 policy actions, which would be expanded as the process of consultations on the programme widened.

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She said the four pillars included addressing elite capture and making government system work to create equality; safety nets for disadvantaged segments of the population; jobs and livelihoods, and human capital development.

The premier’s special assistant said the programme would use the government’s resources for pursuing the objectives of equality and human development.

She said it was a comprehensive programme for the extremely poor people, orphans, widows, homeless, disabled and jobless persons, poor farmers, laborers, sick and undernourished people, students with low-income backgrounds, poor women, and elderly citizens and is meant to develop areas with higher poverty rate.

Dr Sania said fresh data on the subject was being compiled so that the weaknesses of the past programmes were properly and timely covered.

The KP chief minister saidefforts should be made to ensure that the benefits of the programme easily and specifically reached those for whom it had been designed.

He said the selection of the programme’s beneficiaries should be made transparent, while no political or personal affiliations should affect or interfere with the process.

The chief minister appreciated the compilation of fresh data for the Ehsas programme and said the programme should be executed in a way that the deserving segments of society were taken out of the poverty trap to the maximum level.

He added local dynamics shouldn’t be ignored during the execution of the initiative across the country.

Mr Mahmood said his government would not only contribute to the success of the Ehsas programme but would also support the federal government for the purpose.

He said the province would have own programme for poverty alleviation and people’s welfare so that all such efforts were supplemented and the province developed own indicators, too.

The statement said both sides agreed that the relevant federal ministry would soon organise a proper and detailed briefing for the provincial government to help it prepare own programme in accordance with local conditions and to avoid duplication.

Published in Dawn, July 9th, 2019

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