KARACHI: A labourer drags his loaded cart on a street near a market on Friday.—AFP
KARACHI: A labourer drags his loaded cart on a street near a market on Friday.—AFP

ISLAMABAD: Keeping in view the widening gap between the rich and the poor, the government in its budget 2020-21 has planned to extend the social safety net programme to 12 million poor from the existing 4.3m. The government also enhanced the monthly financial assistance to Rs3,000 per month from Rs2,000 per month presently being paid to the BISP beneficiaries.

The pro-poor measures include provision of special cash assistance of Rs3,000 per month for four months to 4.5m registered low-income groups under the Kafaalat Programme; emergency cash assistance of Rs3,000 per month for four months to 4m beneficiaries from updated National Social Economic Registry (NSER) of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP); and emergency cash assistance of Rs3,000 per month for four months to 3.5m beneficiaries to be identified by the district administration. An amount of Rs398.65m has been allocated BISP in the budget.

According to the Annual Development Plan 2020-21, social welfare systems should enable the society to advance the well-being and security of their citizens by protecting them from vulnerability and deprivation so that they can pursue a decent life.

Rs900bn economic relief package for people affected by Covid-19

This is particularly important for socially-excluded population and deprived segments of the society especially after the ongoing pandemic. This population includes the poor, persons with disabilities, migrants, refugees, internally displaced people, slum-dwellers, women and children.

These groups, the document notes, have fewer opportunities for economic, social and human development and remain caught in a vicious cycle of poverty; therefore, economic growth needs to be equitable for improving the living standards of all strata of the society.

The ADP also lays out the multi-dimensional aspects of Covid-19 response, with a clear strategy to mobilise technical and financial resources to define and implement safeguarding and protecting social needs of the most vulnerable people through social welfare interventions under the Ehsaas Programmes.

Apart from this, the government has also approved a Rs900 billion economic relief package for the welfare of people affected by Covid-19. Of this, a total of Rs200bn was allocated for low-income groups, particularly labourers while an amount of Rs100bn has been allocated for the support of small industries and the agriculture sector, the annual plan states.

Published in Dawn, June 13th, 2020

Opinion

Rethinking executions
11 Apr 2021

Rethinking executions

One convict’s fight to escape the gallows exposes the deep flaws in our criminal justice system.
Let women be, control the man
Updated 11 Apr 2021

Let women be, control the man

Men need to be educated and then read the riot act. The enforcement of the law must be merciless in such cases.
Twixt torch & tray
11 Apr 2021

Twixt torch & tray

Some may say that the lawyers’ indignation is not without merit.

Editorial

12 Apr 2021

Pakistan-India peace

AS the Pakistan-India peace process — or at least the shaky beginnings of the latest round — moves forward,...
12 Apr 2021

Child abuse

IN its annual report, the NGO Sahil found that there has been a 4pc increase in documented cases of major crimes...
12 Apr 2021

New tax chief’s task

THE FBR got a new chairman on Friday. Asim Ahmed, a senior IRS officer who was serving as the Board’s IT member...
11 Apr 2021

Dissension within PTI

WITH the dust from the PDM’s implosion still not fully settled, the PTI is now faced with growing dissension from...
11 Apr 2021

Power to arrest

A SUPREME Court verdict announced on Thursday spelled out what might be considered a self-evident truth in any...
11 Apr 2021

Unequal vaccine distribution

IT is in times of crisis that we often see the best — or worst — of humanity. In this regard, the pandemic has...