PM Imran announces Rs. 120 billion Ehsaas Rashan; greets Ehsaas team on completion of Ehsaas Survey
ISLAMABAD, NOV 3 /DNA/ – In view of the recent price hike, Prime Minister Imran has announced the Ehsaas Rashan programme today to provide relief to the poor in his televised speech. As many as 20 million families identified through the recently completed Ehsaas survey will benefit from the programme. Overall, 130 million people will benefit nationwide which is 53% of the population. Yesterday, the Federal Cabinet gave approval to launch the programme across Pakistan.
Although the domestic increases are being driven by rising prices in the international market, inflationary control remains an important policy objective for the government.
Ehsaas Rashan will provide a subsidy of Rs. 1,000 a month to each of the 20 million families on the purchase of flour, pulses, Ghee/Cooking oil. A 30% subsidy will be given on these three items, per unit purchase.
The programme has been designed as a precision-target system of subsidy delivery focusing on deserving beneficiaries to provide financial assistance for the purchase of essential commodities at a discount through digitally processed transactions.
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 track utilization of subsidy by each beneficiary at product and geographical level which will provide much needed transparency in the process. This process will help make beneficiaries and storeowners more digitally adept. Participating Kiryana store owners will be required to open bank accounts which will help further increase financial inclusion and settlement payments made through RAAST will help increase scale of digital transactions in Pakistan.
For online registration of beneficiaries, Ehsaas will open a registration portal next week. 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 Rs. 31,500 per month. In interest of transparency, the registered Kiryana stores and beneficiaries will undergo a rigorous verification process to minimize the incidence of fraud.
Under the Federal-Provincial cost sharing arrangement, the budget of the programme for the next six months is Rs. 120 billion in this fiscal year. The Federal Government and all participating federating units will share fiscal resources in the ratio of 35/65.
Governments of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan and AJK have already agreed to participate in the programme. In other federating units, federal share of subsidy worth Rs. 350 per month will be given for each eligible household.
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