The government’s point-person on poverty alleviation and social protection on Friday said the government has allocated Rs260 billion for the Ehsaas Programme in the budget 2021-22 for poverty alleviation and to provide relief to the low-income people.
“Major focus of the government is to execute the Ehasaas Programme with its true spirit in 14 different categories for low-income people – including widows, orphans, poor, unemployed, needy students and special citizens in the society,” Sania Nishtar said while addressing the Senate session.
The SAPM added that the government has evolved the digital social protection ecosystem for the future to ensure transparency in the programme. A comprehensive survey was completed through big data analysis by tracking real-time information about the evolution of the beneficiary status, to make social protection adaptive, she added.
After evolving the modern digital data system, Sania said that around 800,000 beneficiaries of the Ehsaas Programme registered in the previous government were disqualified from the programme.
“We have introduced digitisation and IT reforms in our system for enhancing the efficiency of the system,” she said, “Through Ehsaas Kafalat Programme, we are providing this financial facility in 124 districts to the low-income people in different regions of the country.”
The SAPM said that the ‘Ehsaas undergraduate programme’ was also approved to provide thousands of undergraduate scholarships to students from different regions of the country in the upcoming budget. During Covid-19, she said the government had provided relief worth Rs179 billion to 15 million people from different regions of the country.
Sania said that women empowerment was among priorities of the government in the coming budget 2021-22 in which 50 per cent of total resources has been for women to provide them health and education facilities.
She announced that the government has decided to increase the stipend for the Ehsaas Programme from Rs12,000 to 13,000.
While briefing the forum, she also hailed the “tax relief” provided by the government in the budget. “The government has waived off the tax on industrial raw material to minimise the cost of doing business in the country,” she said, adding that the government has also decided to introduce tax reforms and automation in the Federal Board of Revenue for enhancing the efficiency in the tax system and expanding the tax net in the country.
“Revenue generation is important for financial inclusion to support the low-income people in the society,” she added.
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