Rs.22.466bln disbursed among 1.77m poverty-stricken families: Sania

By Asim Hussain

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania said that the government has distributed an amount of Rs. 22.466 billion among 1.77 million individuals under Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program till today afternoon since the beginning of the payment process. This she disclosed in a media briefing on Sunday about on-the ground progress of the emergency cash payments.
“It has been four days, since Ehsaas started one-off cash distribution of Rs. 12,000 each to the low-income households in all provinces of Pakistan including Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu and Kashmir from Thursday. Ehsaas Emergency Cash program is the largest ever social protection and relief operation in the history of Pakistan aimed to help alleviate sufferings of low-income households, who have been distressed by the coronavirus shut down across the country.
Mentioning the hurdles being faced in smooth delivery of payments, Dr. Nishtar said few agents deducted the amount from the cash payment of Rs. 12,000 of the beneficiaries which will not be tolerated at all. She warned that strict action will be taken against whosoever responsible for exploiting the innocent people. FIRs have been registered against 40 agents and were sent to the jails also.
The beneficiaries are also facing issues at some payment centers due to long queues, she said while urging those to reach payment centers only who received the message from the authorities with mention of date and time. Dr. Nishtar informed that out of 17,000 payment centers, half of these have been opened while the others were delayed due to the lockdown restrictions in the provincial areas.
She said we are in efforts to open the rest of the payment centers in coordination with provinces through opening banks so that the crowding can be avoided in view of preventing Coronavirus.