ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Security and Poverty Alleviation and Chairperson Ehsaas Programme Dr Sania Nishter has said the government would set up a new ration card to give nutritious food to one million deserving people.
Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Security and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishter Saturday said that a new ration card scheme would be launched soon to provide nutritious food to one million deserving persons under the ‘Ehsaas Programme’.
The government of Pakistan will launch a new ration card Scheme to provide necessary food items to people of low-income groups at subsidized rates. Speaking to media, she said special nutritious food would be ensured for infants less than two years of age, and vulnerable pregnant and lactating women to avoid stunting. Under the programme, Nishter said 80,000 deserving poor would be given interest-free loans, besides providing them sewing machines, cattle, retail shop provisions to start own business. She said social security and poverty alleviation budget was being double by the government. “This is a significant step towards achieving the goal of a truly welfare-oriented Pakistan and make optimal use of resources for the benefit of the poor.” The PM’s aide said as many as 6 million women identified transparently through the ongoing Socio-Economic Registry Survey would get a stipend in their saving accounts and their access to cell phones will be increased.
500 Kifalat Centres would provide online access to free courses to poor women and their children, she added. They would have also had access to free school lessons, free IT courses, free adult education and certificate courses in stitching, kitchen gardening, electric and plumbing courses. The government has decided to provide free wheelchairs to all disabled persons, provide free hearing aids to the deaf, free white canes to the blind under ‘Ehsaas Programme’, Nishter said.
National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) registered disabled would be provided Insaf cards for free treatment to self and family up to Rs720,000 from registered hospitals, she said, adding that two per cent disabled quota has been reserved for them in government jobs. National Council for the Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons (NCRDP) monitors the implementation of 2 per cent quota in the public sector, if implementation was not ensured, the entities would bound to deposit the salary of the vacant posts. The Supreme Court has already directed all the ministries to inform whether 2 per cent quota has been implemented or not. She said one per cent quota is to be given for disabled in ‘Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme’.
Ministry of Planning and Development Reforms has directed to avoid approving disabled unfriendly PC-1 of any project, the PM’s aide said. Deserving students would be provided tuition fee, hostel fee under scholarship scheme being launched in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC). She said yet another scheme Girl Voucher Scheme (second chance) would be initiated under Ehsaas Program to give a chance to dropped-out girls to resume education. “Special incentives will be provided to parents of lagging districts on sending their children to schools.” ‘Panahgas’ (shelter homes) would be constructed in every major city for the homeless, Nishter said, adding that the poor would be provided loans for constructing their own homes. “As many as 10 million families would get Insaf cards by the year-end for getting medical treatment,” she said.
The PM’s aide further stated that ‘Tahafuz Programme’ was being introduced to assist people within 48 hours, who do not have Insaf cards and are stuck by sudden medical conditions, which will cover court cases including illness and accidents, etc. She said the pensions for elderly given by Employees Old-Age Benefits Institutions (EOBI) has already been enhanced from Rs5050 to Rs6500, adding that construction of Ehsaas homes for homeless elderly individuals had already begun. The number of orphanages was being increased and provided more facilities, Nishter said, adding that the registration for daily-wage earners and domestic workers would start providing them a cover of EOBI and employees Social Security Institutions entailing pension and health treatment. She said the number of community welfare attaches was being increased for overseas Pakistani workers, adding that subsidised tickets would be provided to those overseas Pakistani workers, who did not visit home in the last seven years.
Furthermore, the PM’s aide said an existing dormant organisation was being revitalised to safeguard interests of the mist marginalized poor seasonal workers, bonded labour, street children, transgender. Share of the poor would be kept in government procurement, development schemes of Katchi bodies and shikar permit fee, she added.