Saturday December 03, 2022

ECC approves Rs48bln Ehsaas emergency cash program

By Our Correspondent
May 27, 2021

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on Wednesday approved Rs48 billion for the second phase of Ehsaas emergency cash program to provide a one-time cash grant to families affected by coronavirus lockdown.

The ECC approved the launching of 2nd phase of Ehsaas emergency cash program that envisages increasing the number of regular Ehsaas Kafalat beneficiaries to 8 million by June 2021 through the ongoing national socioeconomic registry survey.

All these beneficiaries will be provided a 6-monthly tranche (January- June 2021) of Rs12,000 per beneficiary under Ehsaas Kafalat. Four million additional beneficiaries will be identified through the ongoing the survey by using higher eligibility threshold while remaining below the poverty line.

These additional four million beneficiaries will also be provided one-time emergency cash assistance of Rs12,000 per beneficiary to compensate for unemployment caused by COVID. The disbursement process will be initiated within this financial year. The financial impact of assistance to four million additional beneficiaries will be Rs48 billion.

Last year, the government introduced the cash support initiative to help people whose income was affected by lockdown.

Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin virtually chaired the meeting of the ECC of the cabinet. The meeting was participated by ministers for food security, economic affairs division, maritime affairs, planning development and special initiatives, State Bank of Pakistan Governor and others.

A summary was moved by ministry of energy (power division) for the payment of balance amount of net hydel profits to Water and Power Development Authority (Wapda) through power division.

ECC decided to form a committee with members from power division, Wapda and finance division to discuss the matter in detail and suggest a mechanism for payment of net hydel projects in a timely manner without pressurizing the national exchequer.

The committee also approved the issuance of 12 different notifications for the implementation of Pakistan Single Window (PSW) Act 2021. The implementation of the PSW Act 2021 will significantly reduce the paper work for importers and exporters and will help boosting the trade and economic activity by providing connectivity between different government organizations and with other regional and global windows.

ECC further approved technical supplementary grants Rs700 million for the aviation division for meeting the employee related expenditure of airport security force, Rs288.9 million for the cabinet division for repairs and purchases of 6 aviation squadron, Rs3.9 billion for the defence division for meeting the shortfall of funds for meeting various operational expenses at Pakistan Navy headquarters, Rs124.7 million for the ministry of federal education and professional training for meeting the expenses of its various allied departments, Rs819.4 million for the ministry of information technology and telecommunication for the development expenditure of Special Communication Organization, Rs400 million for the ministry of interior for raising a special security wing at the Kartarpur corridor, Rs42.9 million to the ministry of planning development and special initiatives for Pakistan Institute of Development Economics for payment of pensions and Rs806.6 million for food ministry for clearing the pension liabilities of Pakistan Agricultural Research Council.