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December 28, 2019

Govt to spend additional Rs8.6b under ‘Ehsaas Kifalat’ programme


December 28, 2019

Islamabad : Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection and Chairperson Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) Dr. Sania Nishtar has announced that government has increased the quarterly cash grant for 4.3 million beneficiaries of ‘Ehsaas Kifalat’ Programme of BISP from Rs5,000 to Rs5,500, says a press release.

This increase would mean that the government will provide Rs8.6 billion more for cash transfers to the poorest of the poor. This pro-poor decision was taken in cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister on Tuesday, she said. She further added that BISP has now 4.27 million active beneficiaries after delisting 0.82 million undeserving beneficiaries.

Dr. Nishtar said that the increased stipend will be given to only the deserving beneficiaries from the 2nd quarter of the 2019-20 i.e October - December 2019 quarterly cash grant. Referring to the ongoing disbursement to the beneficiaries, the SAMP said that BISP has already started the disbursement of cash grant for the 1st quarter through partner banks on the new Ehsaas Digital payment system. She said that this system is completely biometric and payments are only made after verification of thumb impressions by NADRA. The present government continues to bring about significant governance improvements for creating a welfare state modeled on Riasat-e-Madina, she said. She stated that the increase in the stipend amount would mean that the money saved from delisting 820,165 beneficiaries will be used for existing and truly deserving beneficiaries.

The chairperson said that BISP being the country’s largest social safety programme is in the process of bringing more initiatives and programmes in education, health and nutrition for the welfare of the poor and marginalised segments of the society. She added that the government has already decided to enhance the cash transfer amount for mothers of girls to Rs1,000 per quarter. This amount is in addition to the quarterly cash transfer of Rs5,500 and is paid to the mothers if the girl child attends a primary school. This programme is now being expanded to 100 districts with expenditure increased to Rs8.2 billion on this account.

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