ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Monday continued sanctioning supplementary and technical supplementary grants so that these could be approved by the National Assembly along with the federal budget 2021-22.
While clearing about Rs3.9 billion worth of eight supplementary grants to different entities for current fiscal year, the ECC meeting, presided over by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, also approved indexation policy for cash transfers to poor people that would increase their stipend by Rs166 per month.
The meeting approved the request of the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division regarding Indexation Policy for Cash Transfer and allowed the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) to adopt the institutional mechanism for periodic update of regular cash transfer benefits to Ehsaas Kafalat Beneficiaries.
The beneficiaries would receive an additional cash of Rs166 per month due to indexation. The meeting also constituted a committee to review the mechanism in future. The committee would be led by Secretary of Finance Division and comprise Additional Finance Secretary and secretaries of Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division and Economic Advisor Finance Division, and one co-opted member for independent technical advice.
The terms of reference of the committee would be to consider and recommend adjustment of regular cash benefits of BISP i.e. Ehsaas Kafalat Programme for inflationary reasons within three years from last enhancement to the federal cabinet for approval. The committee would also consider and approve any update or adjustment of cash transfers under BISP Programmes other than Ehsaas Kafalat Programme.
For the current round, the ECC approved the enhancement of Ehsaas Kafalat monthly stipend by Rs166 per beneficiary per month with effect from January 1, 2022.
The ECC approved payment of arrears of contribution amounting to about Rs3.370bn on account of Group Insurance Fund by the Finance Division on behalf of the Federal Government Non-Gazetted (BS 1 to BS 15) employees.
The meeting also approved additional funding requirement of Rs75 million to the Ministry of Housing and Works for capital outlay on civil works during the current fiscal year in respect of three different development schemes. In addition, a technical supplementary grant of Rs43 million was also granted to the Ministry of Housing and Works.
Published in Dawn, June 22nd, 2021