ISLAMABAD: The federal government’s social protection programme ‘Ehsaas’ has started provision of essential food commodities on subsidised rates to poor people in order to mitigate the impact of rising inflation on low-income families.

According to Ehsaas, 19.5 million people have applied for the scheme. Their applications are being verified to ascertain their eligibility. Those who have been found conforming to the set criteria have been issued eligibility messages and provision of subsidised ration, including flour, cooking oil/ghee and pulses, has started.

“Applications of the registered families are currently going through data analysis. Those whose eligibility has been determined are being sent 8171 confirmation messages in a phased manner.

“Also, eligible families have started availing the Ehsaas Rashan subsidy from the network of 7,978 Utility Stores and authorised Kiryana retailers,” Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection Dr Sania Nishtar said while chairing a meeting of the Ehsaas Rashan Riayat Steering Committee here at the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division on Tuesday.

Members of the committee took decisions in line with the directions of the federal cabinet to support low-income families through the targeted subsidies programme of Ehsaas. They also discussed possibilities of revising the eligibility criteria so that a maximum number of deserving families could benefit from the programme.

The Ehsaas Rashan Riayat programme offers 30 per cent targeted subsidy for 20 million families on the purchase of flour, pulses, cooking oil or ghee every month.

The programme is funded jointly by the federal and provincial governments of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir.

Published in Dawn, March 2nd, 2022

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