Ehsaas Rashan; Rs 120bln allocated for targeted subsidy, says Dr Sania

LAHORE, Nov 25 (APP): Special Assistant to Prime Minister (SAPM) on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar Thursday said that newly launched Ehsaas Rashan Riayat programme, with Rs 120 billion, would provide targeted subsidy to deserving people on purchase of basic commodities.

Addressing a press conference here, she said that Prime Minister Imran Khan had ordered for to preparing a plan to ensure subsidy to the deserving people. She said 20 million families would benefit under programme. She said that federal and provincial governments including Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit-Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir governments were part of the programme.

She said that subsidy would be provided on cooking oil/ ghee, flour and pulses initially on purchase of specific quantity of the items under a digital execution plan to ensure transparency.

Distribution of ration would be made on the pattern of Ehsaas cash distribution programme during the Covid-19 lockdown, she said adding that registration of deserving families as well as Karyana store owners would be made.

She said that digital system would be operated through National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), which was providing its digital services to ensure transparency and provide subsidy to the needy.

To a question, she said initially the project was on three items and for current fiscal year; however, its extension would be reviewed based on success of the project at the end of financial year.

Dr Sania said that the project had a 35 and 65 per cent financial sharing by the federal and the provincial governments, respectively. She said that a family with monthly income of up to Rs, 50,000 would be eligible to apply for the programme.

She also appealed to the Sindh and Balochistan governments to make them available for the programme so that people of their provinces could be provided help. However, she added that the federal government’s share of 35 per cent would be available for the people of Sindh and Balochistan also.

To another question, she said that in order to tackle any fraudulent practices, strict security mechanism was being launched by the government.

She said that one window centres would be set up in every tehsil where all the Ehsaas services would be made available for the people under one roof and added that budget authorisation has been completed for the purpose.

Provincial Minister for Bait-ul-Mal Syed Yawar Bukhari said that it was a PTI government’s initiative in the right direction for providing financial support to the needy and the government would take every possible step to reach town and village level so that no needy was left out.

The media role would be helpful in creating awareness among masses and use of app, developed for execution of the project, would also be available to people, he added.