ISLAMABAD: The government social protection programme Ehsaas is reopening registration for its subsidised ration scheme in order to enable more and more deserving people benefit from it.

“The Ehsaas 8171 SMS service to register low income families for Ehsaas Rashan Riayat programme is reopening tomorrow. Keeping in view the keen interest of people, we have decided to reopen the registration so that more deserving families can benefit from the facility,” said Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Dr Sania Nishtar.

Families with monthly income less than Rs50,000 can enroll themselves by sending their CNIC to 8171. Only one member of a family whose mobile number is issued on his own Computerised National Identity Card (CNIC) can register his family.

The registration portal was closed on Jan 26 after completion of the first phase of the scheme. As many as 19.5 million applications were received out of which 9.3 million families were identified and their eligibility is currently being verified through Ehsaas Survey Registry and Data Analytics. Some families who fulfill the criteria for being beneficiaries have already started receiving eligibility messages from 8171.

Prime Minister Imran Khan was scheduled to inaugurate the programme on February 19 but changed the plan. Now, the second phase has been announced.

Dr Nishtar said all arrangements have been made and the programme would be launched soon.

Under the programme, 30 per cent targeted subsidy will be granted on monthly basis to 20 million eligible families on the purchase of flour, pulses, cooking oil or ghee. Overall, 130 million people will benefit from the programme throughout the country that is around 53pc of the country’s population.

Published in Dawn, February 27th, 2022

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