LAHORE: Chief Minister Parvez Elahi opened the Punjab Ehsaas Ration Programme worth Rs100 billion here on Sunday.
Chairperson of Punjab Ehsaas Programme Senator Dr Sania Nishtar, former federal minister Moonis Elahi, and Chief Minister’s Adviser on Information Omar Sarfaraz Cheema also accompanied Mr Elahi, who began the scheme at a general store in Shadman market.
The chief minister was given a briefing about the programme by Dr Nishtar. Talking to the media later, Mr Elahi said that the government has launched the programme with a substantial amount of Rs100 billion for eight million families of the province. He said that funding for the scheme may be increased if needed.
He said that deserving families would get flour, pulses, cooking oil and ghee at 40pc subsidised rate under the scheme from the stores registered with the programme. He said that the list of edibles in the programme would be reviewed if and when required.
He said that the scope of the programme would be extended to every street and town in the province.
He said the families affected by the recent floods in three south Punjab districts have also been registered in this programme.
The chief minister said 80,000 people responded to the scheme within an hour as thousands of families got themselves registered for the purpose and added that the registration would continue for two weeks.
He paid tribute to Dr Nishtar for working day and night to make the programme a success.
He said the federal government was doing a useless job by instituting trivial cases against opposition leaders.
He said the Model Town tragedy case was absolutely legitimate and Rana Sanaullah would be sentenced to life imprisonment in it.
He said that the interior minister only makes noise and could practically do nothing. He said Sana would be caught (by the Punjab government) in a manner that he would not be able to escape.
Mr Elahi said that he had been with the PML-N for 22 years and knew them thoroughly. “These people only know how to institute false cases in which they failed earlier and are facing failure even now.”
The chief minister said that they would only make a noise as they could not do anything and were incapable of delivering anything, adding that these people did nothing for the poor.
He said that he was not in touch with former president Asif Ali Zardari for quite some time.
He stated that no matter how many cases, they (the federal government) framed against Imran Khan, they would be disappointed and ashamed in the end as no harm could be done to the PTI chairman through the cases.
He said that the federal government was only experienced in making false cases and had nothing to offer to the people.
He said that the Ravi Urban Development project is a flagship programme of the provincial government, which will not spare those who illegally grabbed the RUDA land. “The old land-grabbers will be taken to task and the land will be retrieved. The land mafia will be sternly dealt with and taken to their logical end.”
Dr Nishtar said that the registration process of deserving and low-income families has been launched in all the districts of Punjab. The registration process has been made very simple so that people do not face any difficulties or hurdles. The head of a low-income family can get his family registered for the scheme by sending his computerized national identity card number to the toll-free phone number 8123.
She said that as the registration could also be done on the web portal of Ehsaas Punjab, therefore, the availability of an Android phone for the deserving person is not essential. One can get oneself registered by sending an SMS to the toll-free number.
Published in Dawn, October 3rd, 2022