Ehsaas commences “cash payments to poor”

By Staff Reporter
Friday – April 10, 2020
ISLAMABAD: Safeguarding all precautionary measures, the payment process under Ehsaas emergency cash program begun, Thursday, to support the deserving families affected by the lockdown, with opening of as many as 17,000 digital payment points, people are collecting cash from biometrical payment points of Habib Bank Limited (HBL) in Punjab, Sindh and Balochistan and Bank Alfalah across Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Gilgit-Baltistan (GB) and Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK).

According to an official statement, the biometrical payment operation has commenced countrywide across all provinces including GB, AJK and the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT).

For now, as many as 46.38 million people have sent short message service (SMS) requesting to become beneficiaries of Ehsaas emergency cash program.

For registration in Ehsaas emergency cash, the deserving families can send SMS to 8171 service or can visit web-portal: to check eligibility.

Following registration, there are three types of messages in response of people’s SMS like eligible, ineligible, or case under scrutiny.

The corona tiger relief force (CTRF) will also facilitate to register daily wagers, piece-rate workers and labourers who are unable to register through SMS for Ehsaas cash disbursement program.

Under the Ehsaas emergency cash framework, an immediate cash relief of Rs. 12,000 will be extended each to families of daily wage earners, whose livelihood has been badly affected by the corona-induced economic downturn.

Overall, Rs. 144 billion will be disbursed to more than 12 million families during the next two and a half weeks.

The safety and security of the Ehsaas emergency cash beneficiaries arriving to collect cash assistance is the top priority of the government. All these cash transfers are being made after biometric verification of each beneficiary through national database and registration authority (NADRA).

To ensure corona protective measures across payment operations, special disbursement arrangements have been put in place in close coordination with provincial governments.

Social distancing measures are stringently safeguarded including opening of payment points at open public spaces with multiple cash counters along with security for these spaces, permission to keep retail point of sale agents open, management of crowds at cash disbursement points and ensuring preventive measures like facility of hand washing, etc.

To monitor the payment operations, prime minister’s special assistant on social protection and poverty alleviation Sania Nishtar visited Konnect by HBL outlets in Bari Imam area of the federal capital and met with spouses of piece rate workers who had gathered to collect cash handouts.

Interacting with deserving women, she said, “Ehsaas has initiated the cash stipend payments to provide instant relief to the daily wagers whose livelihoods have been badly affected. This assistance is meant to help them buy rations so that they do not go hungry. We have advised partnering banks to ensure sanitisation at all touch points serving payments.”