Islamabad : The PM’s Special Assistant Dr. Sania Nishtar visited Islamabad Model College for Girls, Tarlai, here Thursday to field test the opening of mobile wallets for Ehsaas beneficiaries at a time when the implementation of this special purpose proposition is in its testing stages.
Accompanied by Secretary Yousaf Khan and other Ehsaas officials, Dr. Sanis oversaw the test demonstration that took place with Ehsaas beneficiaries at the Ehsaas Emergency Cash campsite in collaboration with partnering banks HBL and Bank Al-Falah.
“Through this innovative cash withdrawal facility, beneficiaries of Ehsaas Kafaalat will be able to open mobile wallets that will serve as fully functional branchless banking accounts,” said Dr. Sania while briefing media. She then continued, “This, in turn, will pave the way for deepening of the digital financial ecosystem through improved service offerings for saving, borrowing, and risk mitigation.”
The idea of mobile money accounts is linked to the Ehsaas Kafalat programme for financial deepening under ‘One Woman One Bank Account Policy’. Ehsaas Kafaalat is the government’s safety net programme through which it gives cash stipends to 7 million most deserving women all over the country. The mobile wallets will offer the option to Ehsaas beneficiaries to subsequently transfer funds from designated limited mandate accounts to their mobile wallet for further utilisation. This model will include a full-scale cashless and branchless banking saving accounts for beneficiaries, with the aim of being responsive to the needs of the beneficiaries. To achieve this goal, Ehsaas will chalk out an awareness and communications plan to increase the financial capability and literacy, amongst the vulnerable population.
During the visit, Dr. Sania took round of the Ehsaas campsite and met with the partnering banks’ agents and Ehsaas Emergency Cash beneficiaries present there to gauge the quality of ongoing disbursal arrangements. She also listened to their concerns and gave on-the-spot instructions to Ehsaas officials to facilitate them for easy cash transfers.
Following the closure of Ehsaas Emergency Cash, registration desks will be re-opened nationwide in 15 districts and in 60 districts after September 15 so that no deserving person is left out from the Ehsaas programme. Dr. Sania announced that those who could not apply for Ehsaas Emergency Cash would be able to benefit from other Ehsaas programmes as per the rule-based procedures through Ehsaas self-registration drive.
Given the closure of Ehsaas Emergency Cash payments on August 31, Dr. Sania reaches out to the wider national audience every morning this week through national hook up radio programme, ‘Raabta.’ She listens to the queries of Ehsaas Emergency Cash beneficiaries from far-flung areas of the country and educates them about the supplementary measures being taken under Ehsaas to expedite payments in the field.