Pakistan Introduces Eshaas Emergency Program
3.5 million families
The government has introduced a new government program called the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program that helps poor families during times of crisis. The program is expected to benefit between 100 million and 120 million households, or 47 to 56 percent of the country’s population.
The program is being offered for a limited time only, and the need for the money will likely increase with the time. It’s hoped that the funds provided will help these families make ends meet, and that more will be added to the program in the future.
The Emergency Cash program targets an additional 7.5 million individuals and employs the National Socio-Economic Registry, which is housed under the Ehsaas umbrella. This program requires individuals to submit valid IDs and undergo a screening process to determine eligibility.
If a person scores below 32 points, they may qualify for a Category II emergency cash program. In case the applicant’s ID does not pass the test, they will be referred to a local payment center.
3.5 million individuals
The Eshaas Emergency Cash Program will give Rs. 1,000 extra every month to individuals who fall under the category of ’emergency’. The first phase of the program will be given to 3.5 million households, while the second phase will go to another 4 million.
In addition to the first phase, the program will also provide a service called ‘Ehsaas Tracking’ to individuals to ensure that they receive the funds they have applied for.
The 3.5 million individuals who fall under the first category will be given emergency cash, while 4.5 million households will get emergency aid next week. Eventually, the program will help 70 million people.
The Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program will target another 7.5 million individuals. The new program utilizes the National Socio-Economic Registry, a database housed under the Ehsaas umbrella, to identify eligible individuals.
People who fall under the Category II category must score 32 or lower on the Ehsaas Emergency Cash eligibility test. The program aims to increase the participation of women in this category.
People on daily wages
The government has announced plans to expand the Ehsaas Emergency Program to cover an additional 7.5 million low-income families. This program, which is part of the PM Covid-19 Fund, uses IDs to determine eligibility.
To be eligible, applicants must have a score of less than 32 on the National Socio-Economic Registry. People living below the poverty line are eligible for Category II.
The government has pledged to help those affected by the crisis by reducing payroll taxes and waiving some indefinitely. They can do this by announcing time-bound measures for enterprises that offer job-sharing schemes.
Employers can also avail similar financial benefits if they register their workers with the social security institutions. If the government can’t provide the much-needed help, they can continue their job search through the traditional means.
Benazir Income Support Program beneficiaries
The government announced that it will give one-time cash assistance to four million households through the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP).
The supplementary budget is worth Rs26.5 billion, and is approved by the Economic Coordination Committee, headed by the Minister for Finance Shaukat Tarin. The new funding will be given through partner banks in a transparent and streamlined process.
The cash grant will be given to households through SMS, and will be distributed by a Point of Sale franchise.
The government should reconsider the move to rename the Ehsaas Emergency Program, which is aimed at providing aid to the poor and needy. The original name of the program was the Benazir Income Support Program.
However, the PTI government has changed the name to BISP, and 95 percent of the new program’s beneficiaries are from the BISP database. The new government should start afresh on this project.