The government began disbursing of coronavirus relief funds to the needy under Ehsaas Programme on Thursday, which was a much awaited step by the people affected by the lockdown.
According to Dr Sania Nishtar, who is in charge of the programme, 12 million families will get Rs12,000 each under the initiative. A budget of Rs144 billion was approved for the plan, according to Dr Nishtar.
The families will be given Rs12,000 cash after biometric verification through 18,065 sale points or retail shops of Habib Bank Limited and Bank Al-Falah across the country.
In a tweet Dr Nishtar said: "Even in remotest & most conservative parts of country, women are actively participating to collect Rs.12,000, which are being given to them as part of Govt of Pakistan’s #EhsaasEmergencyCash program,which is a response to #COVID19 induced economic fallout for most disadvantaged."
She also praised the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government for their efficient arrangements for the people who arrived to receive the funds.
"Government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has made excellent arrangements for the disbursement of the #EhsaasEmergencyCash," she said.
In an earlier breakdown, Dr Nishtar had said the daily wage earners affected by the pandemic were the government’s top priority.
“The affectees were put into three categories — 4.5 million existing Ehsaas Kafaalat beneficiaries, all of whom were women, 3 million affectees to be identified through the national socioeconomic database, and around 2.5 million to be identified through the Ehsaas SMS route.”
Eligibility for the second category, the special assistant added, would be "relaxed upwards" as the people who previously earned up to Rs20,000 and "have now suffered economic shock and are without livelihood would be helped".
These people were not currently enrolled in the database, she clarified.
She had added that data analytics would be used to ensure that the system was "not abused".
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