PESHAWAR: Prime Minister Imran Khan will launch a relief package of Rs13.1 billion for over 2.19 million economically vulnerable families in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa tomorrow (Friday), say officials.
The provincial cabinet had approved the relief package on March 28 to mitigate the economic impact of the outbreak of novel coronavirus (Covid-19) on the poorest of the poor for three months.
The details available with Dawn show that Khyber Pakhtunkhwa will provide Rs2,000 to each beneficiary for a period of three months and that will be in addition to the federal government’s cash handouts of Rs3,000 for every beneficiary of the Ehsaas programme.
The province will dole out Rs2,000 each to 942,245 people registered by the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP). The Rs2,000 aid per family will cost the province Rs5.65 billion over a period of three months.
Besides, the province will also extend the same amount for three months to 666,160 beneficiaries listed on the National Socio-Economic Registry (NSER).
Officials say initiative to benefit over 2m vulnerable families
The provision of three months long stipends to the NSER beneficiaries will cost the province’s kitty Rs3.99 billion over a period of three months.
In addition, the province has also identified 582,890 families through the district administrations and local committees across the province in light of the March 28 cabinet’s decision and the extension of Rs2,000 cash handout to this segment for a period of three months will cost the province Rs3.49 billion.
The documents show that following the approval of the relief package by the cabinet, guidelines to identify the deserving families have been issued to the government, while divisional commissioners have also been briefed.
Also, the SMS service 8583 and web portal have been launched, while 4,200 village and neighbourhood committees have been formed. Besides, 800 campsites have also been identified.
According to the documents, the process designated to identify deserving persons shows that the village and neighborhood committees by the district administration will be notified in three days, while the committees will identify the needy people in four days.
The deputy commissioners will provide the data to the Performance Management and Reforms Unit at the chief secretary’s office within two days, while tehsildars and revenue officers will identify 10 per cent of the data.
The PMRU will upload the data to the BISP database within two days, while the BISP/Ehsaas programme will take two days to filter it.
On Monday, the KP government had decided to give away Rs12,000 cash assistance to around 100,000 deserving families from the Zakat funds during the outbreak of Covid-19.
The provincial government is spending Rs32 billion to fight the impact of the coronavirus outbreak. Of the amount, Rs13.1 billion will be distributed to the poor families across the province.
The province has also allocated Rs8 billion for the health department to purchase necessary equipment to fight the outbreak in hospitals, Rs6 billion for relief and rehabilitation activities and Rs5 billion tax exemptions for businesses.
Published in Dawn, April 9th, 2020