Ehsas program’s countrywide expansion next month
80,000 people to get interest free loans every month: Dr Sania
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Poverty Alleviation and Sania Nishtar Saturday called the ‘Ehsas’ initiative country’s biggest organized program aimed towards poverty alleviation. Miss Nishtar apprised the media in a press conference that the initiative entailed 115 programs under its umbrella. She also revealed that the program was going to represented in front of the World Health Organization (WHO) in an upcoming meeting where a briefing upon the undertaking would be given to the attendees. She also announced that the program would become functional within a month in all the provinces of the country.
Earlier, In a policy statement on Ehsas programme, Prime Minister Imran Khan on April 8 said that Ehsaas’ poverty reduction strategy was articulated in four pillars and it currently embodied 115 policy actions, which may be expanded as the process of consultations on the program, further widened. In a tweet, he said his priority poverty reduction programme with its four focus areas and 115 policy actions will reduce inequality, invest in people, and uplift lagging districts. According to a statement issued from his office, PM Imran reiterated his determination that Ehsaas was about the creation of a welfare state.
He said for this purpose all tools and technology would be used to create precision safety nets and to promote financial inclusion besides supporting the economic empowerment of women.
Imran Khan said the program’s principles and approaches center on tapping multi-sectoral collaboration for solutions, ensuring joint federal-provincial leadership and mainstreaming the role of the private sector. He said an approach had been adopted to provide a level playing field on the one hand and foster locally-relevant innovation on the other, to create jobs and promote livelihood in quick-win areas.
The prime minister said, The program is for the extreme poor, jobless, poor farmers, laborers, sick and undernourished as well as for students from low-income backgrounds and for poor women and elderly citizens. This plan, he said, is also about lifting lagging areas where poverty is higher. She said that the government will disburse interest-free loans among 80,000 people per month under the National Graduation Strategy. She said interest-free loans of over Rs3 billion were disbursed among 82,000 people across the country on the launching of the National Poverty Graduation Strategy yesterday. She said these interest-free loans will bring revolution in the lives of poor people.
The National Poverty Graduation Strategy is a four year program of about Rs42.65 billion which will benefit over 16 million people. Dr Sania Nishtar assured that the poverty alleviation programs will be implemented with complete transparency. She also announced that every month a new program will be launched under the umbrella of Ehsas. The Special Assistant to the PM said the present government cares for the deprived segments of the society and has also established Panah Gahs for the shelter-less people. He said despite difficult economic situation, budget for the poverty alleviation has been doubled.