Financial aid: Govt begins distribution of Khidmat Cards

CM inaugurates project to provide interest-free loans, financial assistance


Our Correspondent December 30, 2015
A total of 200,000 deserving persons will benefit from the programme. PHOTO/EXPRESS

LAHORE: The government on Tuesday launched the Punjab Khidmat Card programme for providing interest-free loans, free technical training and financial assistance to the disabled. The programme was inaugurated by Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, who distributed Khidmat Cards among a group of disabled persons.

“The Punjab Khidmat Card programme has been initiated to make disabled people useful members of the society. A sum of Rs2 billion has been allocated for the first phase of the programme. A total of 200,000 deserving persons will benefit from this programme,” he said.

He said that under the programme, Rs3,600 would be given to the deserving persons on quarterly basis. “A dignified procedure has been evolved for the payment of financial assistance. Deserving persons can receive this amount from all branches of the Bank of Punjab or ATM machines. Disabled persons are also Pakistanis and have the spirit to serve the country instead of being a burden on the society,” he said.

The chief minister said that through the Punjab Khidmat Card programme, the government was trying to help the disabled persons to stand on their feet and earn their livelihood through provision of financial help and technical training. “It will increase respect of disabled persons in the society and they will be able to play their role for progress of the country. Due care of disabled persons will be taken through the programme. They will be extended all out cooperation. This programme has been launched in 36 districts of the Punjab at the same time. Financial assistance will be extended to disabled persons in a transparent manner,” he said.

Finance Minister Dr Ayesha Ghaus Pasha said that it was the first time in the history of the country that such a programme had been launched for the provision of facilities to the disabled. “This programme will help in making disabled persons respectable, independent and important members of the society. A centre for rehabilitation for disabled persons has been set up at Recep Tayyip Erdogan Hospital Muzaffargarh. The government will also set up such centres in other cities as well,” she said. Minister for Zakat and Ushr Malik Nadeem Kamran, Adviser on Health Khawaja Salman Rafique and Benazir Income Support Programme Chairperson Marvi Memon were present.

Sri Lankan delegation

A high-level delegation from Sri Lanka, led by Minister for Public Administration and Management Ranjith Madduma Bandara, met Shahbaz Sharif on Tuesday.

Bilateral relations and promotion of cooperation in agriculture, education, health, tourism, skill development and public administration were discussed. The Sri Lankan delegation expressed keen interest in investment in hydel projects in the Punjab. The chief minister said that Sri Lanka had helped the Punjab government in dealing with a dengue outbreak in 2010. “The people of province will never forget the cooperation extended by Sri Lankan doctors,” he said.

Published in The Express Tribune, December 30th, 2015.

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