PM Imran releases policy statement on Ehsaas, his poverty reduction programme
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Imran Khan today released policy statement on Ehsaas, his poverty reduction programme.
“I am pleased to release my policy statement on #Ehsaas, my priority poverty reduction programme with its 4 focus areas and 115 policy actions to reduce inequality, invest in people, and uplift lagging districts,” Prime Minister Khan tweeted.
I am pleased to release my policy statement on #Ehsaas, my priority poverty reduction programme with its 4 focus areas and 115 policy actions to reduce inequality, invest in people, and uplift lagging districts https://t.co/Ue20Gaw3aC
— Imran Khan (@ImranKhanPTI) April 8, 2019
Ehsaas, government’s Rs80 billion poverty alleviation programme was launched by government at end of March and is aimed at helping downtrodden and vulnerable segments of society, including poor, orphans, widows, homeless, disabled, undernourished and jobless.
During a ceremony, Prime Minister Khan unveiled salient features of programme, stating government would allocate an additional amount of Rs 80 billion in the country’s social protection spending in backward areas from current year, which would be raised to Rs 120 billion in 2021.
Prime minister also announced establishment of a new Ministry of Social Protection/Poverty Alleviation to address current fragmentation. Various institutions likes BISP, PBM, Zakat, PPAF, etc would be working under that ministry, which would develop a one-window operation for social protection of poor and to facilitate citizens, he added. He said the government would introduce a new constitutional amendment to move Article 38(d) from the “Principles of Policy” section to the “Fundamental Rights” section.
Change would make provision of food, clothing, housing, education and medical relief for citizens, who could not earn a livelihood due to infirmity, sickness or unemployment, a state responsibility, the prime minister said, and described it as a first step towards the creation of a welfare state.
He said government was also launching a new programme “Kafalat” under the BISP, adding the new programme would have fives pillars.
Premier said that under the new programme which was aimed at economic empowerment of women, 5.7 million women would be given savings accounts under the “one woman, one bank account plan”.
He said 500 BISP and Pakistan Baitul Mal (PBM) offices would be transformed into digital hubs where the government’s IT, technology and innovation resources would be pooled in.
The government’s digital resources, such as access to the labour information system, online curricula and one-window social protection interface would be accessible, which would create opportunities for BISP families to graduate out of poverty, he added.
Imran said the government would not just give money to the poor but link it with health and nutrition-related assistance, which would help address the problem of stunting among children.
He said that under Kifalat, the government would raise the current cash transfer of Rs 5,000 to Rs 5,500. He said the government was launching a precision safety net called “Tahafaz” to protect individuals from catastrophic risks – a transparent and trackable digital system of cash transfers through which the government would give legal aid, education grants and health assistance to those without Insaf card entitlements.
He said the government also had plans to graduate BISP beneficiaries out of poverty for the most backward districts and added that a programme for asset transfers worth Rs 5 billion in five districts had additionally been launched.