PM to release Qarz-i-Hasna, property transfer plans upcoming month

ISLAMABAD: The govt will begin upcoming month the process of distributing over 80, 000 loans and moveable/immovable property each month to the deserving families under Qarz-i-Hasna and assets transfer plans. Each plan will be released by Prime Minister Imran Khan under the ambitious Ehsaas program. According to the Prime Minister Office, under the Ehsaas Qarz-i-Hasna plan, over 80, 000 loans will be disbursed each month among youth and women, enabling them to undertake their own business ventures and help their families extricate from the poverty trap. These loans would be prioritized in the underdeveloped districts.

Under the property shift scheme, people will be given livestock ( goats and chickens), farming equipment and supplies, sewing equipment or material to help nearby crafts, small shops or money to help them begin small companies. “Assets” under this plan will be given as one-time support and are not expected to be returned. Appreciating the efficacy of the existing program, Prime Minister Khan permitted injection of an additional amount of Rs5 billion into the existing fund so that the program could be released in collaboration with the existing partners of the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund. “We aim to turn Pakistan into a welfare state depending on the model of Riyasat-i-Madina that takes full ownership of the requirements of its weak and vulnerable,” declared the prime minister.

Grants injection of extra Rs5bn into an existing fund for ambitious Ehsaas program The selection was taken on Monday through a briefing by Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Safety Nets and Poverty Alleviation ( PASS), on the status of execution of the Ehsaas program. Ehsaas is a comprehensive and multifaceted program with 115 policies under 4 pillars — addressing elitism and creating the govt system work to create equality; protection nets for the disadvantaged segments of the population ; jobs and livelihoods; and human capital improvement. It is an inter-sectoral program to be executed by 26 federal government agencies, 4 provinces, and special places.

Dr. Sania briefed the prime minister on timelines to implement tasks under the Ehsaas Programme and policies related to poverty alleviation and social security and its attached departments. The timeline was also set for execution of the Kifalat program and inclusion of women in it. She also briefed the prime minister on the safety net Tahaffuz ( protection ) program. Information and deadlines for graduation and interest-free loans program and the new options challenge policy for the underdeveloped districts were also talked. The prime minister was also briefed on a nutrition initiative to address malnutrition in all its forms, the new socio-economic registry which is being executed by the Benazir Income Support Programme ( BISP), the Ehsaas undergraduate student scholarship initiative and plans to extend education conditional cash transfers for such areas.

Dr. Sania informed the prime minister that in order to guard and ensure social security net to workers in the informal sector, various weekly conferences of the labor specialist working group have been held. The briefing was given on the timeline of policy formulation. Information was also shared about strategies to revitalize the trust for voluntary businesses and to make its governance effective and transparent so that the organization could be used to upscale profitable models in the non-governmental segment. A number of other tasks also came under discussion, including a plan to open twenty centers for the special people, starting of National Centre for Human Nutrition, setting up a forum for non-governmental stakeholders and the diaspora.

The prime minister has also briefed on governance reforms in safety nets institutions, adding in the BISP, to ensure maximum transparency and efficiency. Dr Sania declared the policies concerning several components of the Ehsaas programme would be presented before the cabinet after June for its grant. The prime minister appreciated the progress being made by Dr. Sania and her team. He also accepted the creation of the Ehsaas Steering Committee which would be headed by the prime minister himself. A conference of implementers of the Ehsaas program at federal and provincial levels will be convened quickly to chalk out the strategy for roll-out and easy implementation of the program components which are responsibilities of ministries other than the division of poverty alleviation and social protection.

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