ISLAMABAD.: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Security and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishter on Saturday said that a new ration cards scheme would be started soon to provide nutritious food to one million deserving persons under the Ehsaas Programme.
Talking to the media, Dr Sania, who is also the chairperson of Ehsaas Programme, said, “Special nutritious fortified food will be ensured for the infants less than two years of age and vulnerable pregnant and lactating women to avoid stunting.”
Under the Ehsaas Programme, the special assistant said, 80,000 deserving poor would be given interest-free loans, besides sewing machines, cattle and retail shop provisions to start their own business.
Sania said social security and poverty alleviation budget was being doubled 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,” she said, adding that as many as six million women identified transparently through the ongoing Socio Economic Registry Survey would get stipend in their saving accounts and their access to cell phones would be increased.
“Five hundred Kifalat Centres will provide online access to free courses to poor women and their children,” she said. “They will have access to free school lessons, free IT courses, free adult education and certificate courses in stitching, kitchen gardening, electrician and plumbing courses.”
The government has decided to provide free wheel chairs to all disabled persons, free hearing aids to the deaf, free white canes to blind under the Ehsaas Programme.
The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA)-registered disabled persons would be provided Insaf cards for free treatment for self and family up to Rs720,000 from registered hospitals, she said, adding that 2% disabled quota had been reserved in government jobs.
“Deserving students will be provided tuition fee, hostel fee under scholarship scheme being launched in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC),” said Sania, adding that yet another scheme Girl Voucher Scheme (second chance) would be initiated under the Ehsaas Programme to give a chance to dropped out girls to again start education.
Shelter homes would be constructed in every major city for the homeless, she 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’s end for obtaining medical treatment.
“Tahafuz programme is being introduced to assist the people within 48 hours, who do not have Insaf cards and are stuck by sudden medical conditions,” said Sania. “It will cover court cases, including illness and accidents, etc.”
She said the pensions for the elderly given by Employees Old-Age Benefits Institution (EOBI) had already been enhanced from Rs5,050 to Rs6,500.
“Building Ehsaas homes for the elderly homeless has begun. The number of orphanages are being increased and provided more facilities. The number of community welfare attaches is being increased for overseas Pakistani workers. Subsidised tickets will be provided to those overseas Pakistani workers, who did not visit home in the last seven years,” said Sania.