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Friday December 03, 2021

Ehsaas Rashan Programme: 20m families to get Rs1,000 subsidy each month

November 04, 2021
Ehsaas Rashan Programme: 20m families to get Rs1,000 subsidy each month

ISLAMABAD: Ehsaas Rashan Programme will provide a subsidy of Rs1,000 per month to each of the 20 million families on the purchase of flour, pulses, ghee or cooking oil.

In view of the recent price hike, Prime Minister Imran announced the Ehsaas Rashan programme on Wednesday to provide relief to the poor in his televised speech. The Ehsaas and the National Bank of Pakistan have developed a technology-led, targeted subsidy disbursal program.

For online registration of beneficiaries, Ehsaas will open a registration portal next week which will start registering the deserving people. The registered people would be issued a rashan card through which they would be able to purchase flour, pulses, ghee or cooking oil from nominated kiryana or utility stores on 30 per cent subsidy.

To check fraud, the registered kiryana stores and beneficiaries will undergo a rigorous verification process. Deserving buyers will have to undergo a two-step verification. First, NADRA would verify the deserving persons through their computerised identity cards using the buyers’ mobile numbers, and second, a one-time password (OTP) would be sent to buyers’ phone. The store would verify the OTP before selling the subsidised ration to the deserving person.

According to the programme design, Ehsaas Rashan will cover 20 million households across Pakistan with a poverty score of less than 39 and an income of Rs31,500 per month. They will be given 30 per cent subsidy on purchase of rashan.

As many as 20 million families identified through the recently completed Ehsaas survey will benefit from the programme. They include those already registered with the Benazir Income Support Programme. Overall, 130 million people will benefit nationwide which is 53% of the population.

Ehsaas has developed a digitally enabled mobile point of sale system in collaboration with National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) to serve beneficiaries through a network of kiryana stores designated by NBP, all over the country.

Ehsaas and the National Bank of Pakistan have developed a technology-led, targeted subsidy disbursal program. This system will digitize parts of the retail sector; there will be use of real time data for decision making.

The use of a digital platform in this program will help us track utilization of subsidy by each beneficiary at product and geography level which will provide much needed transparency in the process.

This process will help make beneficiaries and storeowners more digitally adept. Under the federal-provincial cost sharing arrangement, the budget of the programme for the next six months is Rs120 billion in this fiscal year. The federal government and all participating federating units will share fiscal resources in the ratio of 35/65.

The governments of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan and AJK have already agreed to participate in the programme. In Sindh and Balochistan, federal share of subsidy worth Rs350 will be given for each eligible household.