ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday visited Ehsaas Kafalat payment centre here, in which payment to 7 million beneficiaries has started.
Special Assistant Dr Sania Nishtar briefed the prime minister on the steps taken to improve the quality of payments and ensure protection against cyber attacks. The prime minister was further informed that this time women's access to banks and withdrawal of money from ATMs has also been ensured.
For the first time, the option of withdrawing money from biometric ATMs is being introduced to make the payment system useful and easy for recipients. In this regard, Dr Sania told the prime minister that the system would protect deserving women from the clutches of corrupt agents and money laundering gangs.
Sponsorship will be paid in different stages. The first phase has started from Friday under which payment has started to 4.3 million deserving women. Each recipient will be given Rs12,000 for the period from July to December 2020. It should be noted that the total amount is being paid for six months.
The prime minister has already approved increasing the number to 7 million women. The additional beneficiaries will be paid after December 2020 and the process will be completed in the current financial year.
The prime minister was also shown the trial run of "Ehsaas-One-Woman-One-Bank Account". Thus, for the first time in Pakistan, the poorest women will have the option to secure their payments.
"We need to focus on women's financial literacy so that they can take full advantage of these initiatives and become truly empowered, which is the main goal of this programme," said Dr Sania.
She added, "Financial inclusion is a key goal of realisation and is key to building the potential of millions of extremely disadvantaged women in Pakistan. Secure, useful and affordable financial products and services such as transactions, payments to the public are being made."
Sania said that by providing access to savings, loans and insurance, the government is providing them with financial security so that they can rise above the poverty line and create better living opportunities for themselves and their families.
Under the digital system, payments at retail points through machines will also be possible after biometric verification. In addition to transparency and prevention of corruption, a number of innovative reforms have recently been introduced that allow recipients to truly monitor their money transfers.
In addition, partner banks have been asked to ensure that the quality of biometric machines at retailer touch points meets international standards in order to secure the payment system and empower sponsors. Other important reforms to ensure transparent payment of sponsorships include retailers’ training and grievance redressal methods.
Most of the digitally and financially weak sections of the Pakistani population are helpless women. The sense of sponsorship is ensuring the financial and digital participation of deserving women across the country. By changing the lives of millions of women, the ‘Ehsaas-One-Woman-One Account’ will not only help the underprivileged to get out of their financial difficulties but also save them from financial hardship in times of dire need.
Meanwhile, Ansari brothers from Gujranwala, including Member Punjab Assembly Ashraf Ansari, called on Prime Minister Imran Khan. The Ansari brothers paid tribute to the prime minister for the economic stability in the country and especially for the government’s strategy during corona. The Ansari brothers called the prime minister’s vision a guarantee of lasting peace in the region.
Representing the people of Gujranwala, the Ansari brothers reiterated that the present government was taking practical steps to lift the people out of poverty, revive industries, provide employment and affordable housing.