ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Welfare Dr Sania Nishtar on Thursday visited the headquarters of the Utility Stores Corporation and reviewed the status of Ehsaas programme’s integration with the USC to pass on the benefit of targeted subsidy to the deserving people.
In a statement, Dr Nishtar said: “I am very happy to see that the IT teams of both the USC and Ehsaas have worked very hard. The process of integration is now seamlessly working, and this will enable the USC to identify Ehsaas beneficiaries giving them targeted subsidies on certain food items.” She said the installation of hardware at the USC would be completed soon so that the system could become operational all over the country.
USC Managing Director Umer Lodhi said the corporation would be fully equipped to synergise with the Ehsaas programme by June. It would be able to launch a targeted subsidy programme in conjunction with the Ehsaas programme all over the country, he added.
To promote economic welfare, the targeted subsidisation policy is hinged on IT-enabled system to reduce poverty among the deserving poor and neglected sections of the population.
“The well-to-do have no problems in purchasing daily-use commodities from anywhere, upscale markets or super markets. Those who have no proper source of income are hard put to make ends meet. Subsidy is the right of such downtrodden people,” an official of the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division told Dawn.
Previously, untargeted subsidy programmes contributed to an increase in inequality. Under the untargeted subsidies, the benefits were enjoyed indiscriminately by both the rich and poor. Even individuals who could easily afford market prices also enjoyed the benefits of subsidised pricing.
Published in Dawn, March 19th, 2021