Social protection, security for the poorest segments of society

By Taj Nabi Khan

ISLAMABAD, Nov 07 (APP): Viable political reforms and pro-public policies through various poverty reduction programs can create a wide range of possibilities for socio-economic growth of people by ensuring social protection and economic security to marginalized segments of society to live life in dignity.

To help deserving families across the country realize the dream of a true welfare state, the current government designed a multi-pronged Ehasaas pro-poor program in March 2019 as one of the flagship projects throughout. by targeting the most deserving segments. of the society.

The list of initiatives within the program included interest-free loans, Ehsaas Kafalat program, educational grants, undergraduate scholarship programs, nashonuma, amdan, survey, koi bhooka na soye, panahgah, langar and now the Ehsaas Rashan initiative.

The multi-faceted Ehsaas programs are aligned with the Pakistani government’s Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) manifesto as the initiatives have focused on the basic needs of deserving people: health, nutrition, education, cash and interest-free loans for microenterprises and the recently launched “Ehsaas Rashan Targeted Product Subsidy Program” through the Ehsaas 2021 National Register of Socio-Economic Surveys.

The programs were primarily launched to help marginalized and ignored segments of society. Therefore, the initiatives had ensured gender equality by paying special attention to women and girls in all programs in addition to orphans, widows, homeless, disabled, unemployed, poor farmers, workers, malnourished people; students from modest backgrounds and the elderly.

In order to benefit from Ehsaas multivariate initiatives and stay safe from corrupt elements, the government has launched Ehsaas digital to find out the eligibility and procedure to apply for various programs. Information is available on the web portal on the different programs launched within the framework of the Ehsaas project. The portal provides all the information about the various Ehsaas programs on one platform in Urdu language.

Applicants can obtain the required information on social projects through the portal: eligibility, payment mechanism, addresses and telephone numbers of district level offices and payment centers for additional information and a direct link to the web portal for resolve biometric and other issues.

The transparent mechanism of Ehsaas initiatives has been hailed by the recently released edition of the United Nations Principles for Responsible Digital Payments 2021 report as one of the international best practices.

The Ehsaas program has also established itself as one of the largest social protection programs in the country’s history during the Covid-19 pandemic by financially supporting nearly half of the country’s population.

The Prime Minister also approved the proposal of the Poverty Reduction and Social Security Division (PASSD) for the upgrading of Panagahs models into centers of excellence under the Ehsaas in order to further improve the level of life of the Panagahs during the winter season.

According to available data, the government provided 179 billion rupees to the Ehsaas Emergency Cash program by providing a one-time cash grant of Rs. 12,000 to 15 million families (nearly 109 million people) at risk of extreme poverty as aid for poverty reduction and social security.

Also this year, one million eligible families receive Ehsaas money through a digital payment system based entirely on the use of cellphones and biometric verification.

In order to alleviate the effects of the economic hardships due to global inflation and Covid-19, the Prime Minister also announced last week one of the largest social assistance programs of 120 billion in subsidies from the Ehsaas Rashan program. in the country’s history to give relief. to deserving families.

This would allow people to buy ghee, wheat flour and pulses at prices 30% lower over the next six months.

The Ehsaas Rashan program would help facilitate 20 million families who were identified through the recently completed Ehsaas survey. Thus, the relief program subsidy program would help more than 130 million people (53%) nationwide of the country’s total population.

Pakistani Senator Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) Prof. Dr. Mehr Taj Roghani told APP that the government should reassess the various initiatives under the Ehsaas program to prioritize relief initiatives only for the welfare of the people.

She said: “Putting money into the system could stimulate the economy and lower commodity prices. ”

She also called for the issuance of ration cards for disadvantaged segments of society while ensuring transparency in the delivery of aid to the poor.

The programs would only be considered compatible with the realities on the ground when the deserving people were able to take full advantage of the benefits of the project, she added.

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