ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation (SPPA) Dr Sania Nishtar said on Thursday that Rs175 billion had been disbursed under the Ehsaas Cash Assistance Package to 14.6 million beneficiaries and soon its second phase would be started.
She said this while briefing a meeting chaired by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Abdul Hafeez Shaikh at the Finance Division.
Dr Nishtar said that during 2019-20 an amount of Rs12,000 as one-time assistance was given to people who suffered because of the lockdown that had to be imposed to stop the spread of coronavirus.
“Now under the instructions of the prime minister the second phase has to be started to provide additional cash relief to those who need it most urgently,” she said.
The special assistant on SPPA said that there were 4.6m regular beneficiaries of Kafalat programme, and the one-time Emergency Cash Assistance was provided to 11.6m beneficiaries during the pandemic to look after their cash needs.
Dr Nishtar said that for the second tranche a revised list of Emergency Cash Assistance beneficiaries would soon be prepared (as the number might be reduced due to control in the spread of the disease and opening of businesses and markets) and all the necessary details would soon be shared with the Finance Division.
Mr Shaikh appreciated the efforts of the Poverty Alleviation Division in looking after the poorest of the poor in unexpected times and said that for the second tranche of the cash assistance programme, the Finance Division would provide all possible help after the SPPA Division works out the exact requirement of funds for the Kafalat Programme, Emergency Cash Assistance and for paying bank service charges.
He also directed to provide an update to the Finance Division about the transparency standards and expenditure already made under round-1 of Ehsaas Emergency Cash Assistance Programme.
Published in Dawn, September 4th, 2020