PESHAWAR: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday formally launched the Naya Pakistan Card initiative, bringing mega welfare programmes of the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government covering health, education, food and agriculture sectors under one umbrella.
With the launch of Naya Pakistan Card, which covers Ehsaas Ration Programme based on a food subsidy package for low-income families, Kisan Card, Sehat Card and scholarships for students, beneficiaries of various initiatives can avail all services on the same card.
Addressing the ceremony held at the Governor House, Prime Minister Khan said that Kamyab Pakistan scheme was also in the pipeline under which two million eligible families would receive Rs400,000 interest-free loans for self-employment, free technical education to one member of each registered family, Rs2.7 million loan for house construction and free health insurance.
He said the proposed Kamyab Pakistan programme to be launched in the KP province would be extended to other provinces later.
Says a project promising interest-free loan for 2m eligible families is on the anvil
Besides, the government was awarding 6.3m scholarships to students to encourage them to pursue higher education as Rs47bn had been allocated in this regard, he said.
In order to ensure award of scholarships on merit, a special cell was being set up at the PM secretariat to collect students’ data, he announced.
Mr Khan said that the PTI got two-thirds majority during the previous elections in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa due to development projects and reforms in different sectors. A UNDP report had also acknowledged reduction in poverty in KP during 2013-18 due to the provincial government initiatives, he added.
On the occasion, Prime Minister Khan also distributed cheques among prayer leaders of Jamia mosques under a KP government initiative, among less privileged women under Kifalat programme and scholarship among students under the Ehsaas education programme.
He said the Punjab government was replicating KP’s model in the health sector and would launch health insurance programme from January 1 and the entire population of the province would be covered within next three months. The government of Balochistan, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan also intended to launch the mega programme, he added.
Appreciating the performance of National Command and Operation Centre on Covid-19, the PM said the country had effectively tackled the pandemic that severally affected supply chain across the world and caused increase in prices of petroleum, gas and food commodities. Food inflation was a global phenomenon, yet prices of essential commodities were lower than in rest of the world, he added.
In this situation, he said the historic Ehsaas food subsidy package worth Rs120bn would benefit over 20 million families, as 30pc discount would be given on purchase of ghee, flour and pulses to the families with less than Rs50,000 monthly income.
The PM asked Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan to direct parliamentarians to visit their constituencies and encourage people to register themselves for ration discount.
He also talked about building of 10 new dams in a decade to address the problem of water scarcity and bolster food production.
Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, federal, provincial ministers, parliamentarians, senior officers and people from different segments of society attended the ceremony.
Published in Dawn, December 9th, 2021