Pakistani labourers walks along a street during a government-imposed lockdown. PHOTO: AFP/FILE

ECC okays cash assistance criteria for labourers

Rs75b released to BISP out of Rs200b earmarked in PM’s relief package

Our Correspondent May 15, 2020
ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet on Friday approved the criteria and mechanism for Emergency Cash Assistance – announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan earlier this month – for the labourers who have lost their livelihoods due to the coronavirus-induced lockdown in the country.

The ECC meeting was chaired by Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.

On May 3, the premier had announced that the funds collected through PM’s Covid-19 Pandemic Relief Assistance Fund 2020 would be used to assist the labourers whose livelihoods were affected due to the lockdown and its impact on the economy.

In his announcement, the PM directed that the funds shall be disbursed through the Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme. The prime minister had also announced that for every rupee donated the government shall match Rs4 in the fund.

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A budget envelop of Rs75 billion was released to the Benazir Income Support Programme out of the Rs200 billion earmarked in PM’s relief package for distribution among the labourers in the country. The modalities of the disbursement have been worked out by the Finance Division, Poverty Alleviation Division and BISP.

The BISP board has approved that in order to identify the beneficiaries for Ehsaas Labour (Category-IV) the eligibility criteria used for Category – III of Ehsaas Emergency Cash may be used.

The applications will be received only through Ehsaas Labour portal for inclusion of beneficiaries in Category-IV. Cash disbursement of Rs12,000 (one time assistance) would be made to eligible applicants through existing payment mechanism of the BISP.

Provinces, AJK, GB and ICT would be allocated quota in Ehsaas Labour assistance in accordance with their population share.

(With input from APP)

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