–PM Imran says loans being given under Rs200bn Ehsaas programme will promote entrepreneurship and small and medium enterprises
–Dr Sania says ‘most- deserving’ women will be given cash stipends of Rs2,000 per month
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday formally launched the Ehsaas Kafaalat Programme to financially empower a total of seven million most-deserving women across the country in three phases.
Addressing the launch ceremony, the prime minister said that the government is taking steps to make Pakistan a welfare state on the pattern of state of Medina.
He said that the social welfare programmes of the incumbent government will transform Pakistan into a country where social equality prevails.
The prime minister said no society can develop where the elite prospers at the expense of the poor. He said that the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has so far given health cards to six million families who can now avail the medical treatment of up to Rs720,000.
PM Imran said that loans being given under Ehsaas programme will promote entrepreneurship and small and medium enterprises of the country.
He said that around Rs200 billion have been earmarked for Ehsaas programme to help uplift the weaker segments of society.
The prime minister said that under the new programme, opening bank accounts of women will help stop the theft of their money and also enable them to purchase essential items from Utility Stores Corporation outlets. He also appreciated giving smartphones to programme recipients that will open a whole new world for them and their families.
He said that new programs of Ehsaas will be coming soon, under which other social welfare measures will be given to poor people. He said that stunted growth and malnutrition are two major issues facing poor people.
The prime minister appreciated the hard work of Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar and her efforts for developing a proper system to distribute the money among the most deserving people of the country.
He also distributed kafaalat cards among the deserving women.
Earlier, Dr Nishtar said that under the programme, deserving women will be given cash stipends of Rs2,000 per month.
She said that identifying the deserving persons was a big task as the data of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) was 10 years old. She said that the government used the National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) records and surveys to identify the persons who really deserve so that unscrupulous elements do not take advantage of the scheme. She said that the process of desk registration of deserving persons has been started at the Tehsil level.
She also said that agreements have now been made with two banks to open biometric ATMs to facilitate the receiving of money under Ehsaas Kafaalat programme.
She further said that every recipient woman will have a saving bank account. “Smartphones will be provided to the recipients in order to facilitate them on financial transactions and to gain access to other useful projects under Ehsaas initiatives. 700,000 households are being brought into the fold of kafaalat, which also includes 400,000 households of BISP. Kafaalat has been opened in seventy districts across the country while the schedule of remaining districts will be issued soon,” she added.