ISLAMABAD: The government on Tuesday formally kicked off the much-trumpeted subsidised ration programme for the poor after continuous increase in prices of daily use commodities over the last few years.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Dr Sania Nishtar visited a grocery store in a local market and registered it for the programme.
She also opened the Ehsaas registration portal, ehsaasrashan.pass.gov.pk, for the general public to enlist themselves in the system in case they fulfill the given criteria, i.e. a monthly income of less than Rs31,000.
Dr Nishtar has also released an instructional video to guide deserving families and grocery merchants, step by step, about the programme’s rollout. “Only one person from each household will be eligible to get registered in the Rashan Riayat programme,” she said.
Apart from people who are registered in the Ehsaas Socioeconomic Registry Survey, other poor families who have incomes less than Rs31,000 per month will be considered to receive the concession. Family eligibility will be determined within four weeks, after registration on the portal, said Dr Nishtar. Applicant families will be sent eligibility messages from 8171.
The Ehsaas Rashan Riayat programme aims to reduce the impact of inflation for the marginalised segments of society. “Up-to-date technology measures have been developed to avoid manipulation and to checkmate abuse,” Dr Nishtar said.
According to her, the grocery stores which are selected for this programme after thorough verification will also receive a rational amount in commission as an encouragement to serve the poor customers shopping under this programme. Also, she said there would be lucky draws giving away cars, motorcycles, mobile phones and various other prizes every quarter to create healthy competition among the merchants.
Published in Dawn, November 10th, 2021