The government has launched the official web-portal for Ehsaas Emergency Cash initiative.

The portal allows people to check if they are eligible for the PM’s financial assistance by entering their CNIC number in the relevant field. Once you have verified your eligibility, you can use the portal to register for Ehsaas programme.

Update (April 2, 2020): In response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, Prime Minister of Pakistan Imran Khan has recently launched the Ehsaas Emergency Cash initiative in a bid to provide relief to the underprivileged across the country.

According to Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Dr Sania Nishtar, PKR 144 billion will be distributed among approximately 12 million deserving families across Pakistan under this relief programme. Each family will reportedly receive a cash grant of PKR 12,000.

Moreover, during her interview on Radio Pakistan, Dr Nishtar called it the country’s biggest social protection initiative launched for the families facing financial trouble in the wake of COVID-19.

To complete their Ehsaas programme registration, one needs to SMS their Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) number to 8171 – a service that has just been activated to ensure a transparent mechanism. The sender will shortly receive a reply regarding their eligibility for the Ehsaas Emergency Cash initiative. Those with eligible CNIC numbers will then receive further instructions.

It is important to note that government employees, those who own a property and those with utility bills exceeding PKR 10,000 are not eligible for financial assistance under this programme.

Along with Ehsaas Emergency Cash initiative, the government has also introduced an Ehsaas Ration Platform under the umbrella of its flagship Ehsaas Programme.

The Ehsaas Ration Platform will aid people who want to donate food ration to vulnerable families during these trying times. As per Dr Nishtar, at least 35,000 families and more than 600 donors have registered for the programme so far.

Furthermore, as reported by Pakistan Today, the registration process for the Ehsaas Kafalat Programme will resume from April 5 across the country.

Expanding the scope of its flagship Ehsaas Programme, the government of Pakistan recently launched the highly anticipated Ehsaas Kafaalat Programme that aims to provide economic empowerment to women living below the poverty line. The federal Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division will oversee the initiative.

The widely-hailed initiative, which was launched by Prime Minister Imran Khan in Islamabad, will offer monetary assistance to low-income women in Pakistan through its digitized payment system. This program will enable deserving women to improve their financial situation and help them graduate out of poverty by also providing them with smartphones, interest-free loans and other opportunities.

“The funds will be given to the registered persons through a biometric system which will end the corruption of money. We are also bringing a card facility which will allow people to get commodities from utility stores. Deserving women will be given smartphones by the government,” said PM Imran Khan during the launching ceremony. “One more project is lined up for its launching within two weeks under the Ehsaas programme. Poor women will be given farm animals. Our government has so far distributed health cards among 6 million families and we are consistently expanding it. For the youth of the country, we are willing to launch best projects by providing them training and education to groom their skills under Hunarmand programmes,” he added.

The registration process for Ehsaas Kafaalat Programme is currently underway while a large number of women have already enrolled for the cash relief. It is also pertinent to mention that those rightfully receiving the stipend under the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) will be automatically made a part of the new program.

Before we discuss the Ehsaas Kafaalat Programme details, eligibility criteria and registration process, let’s take a brief look at the Ehsaas Programme and what it entails.

EHSAAS PROGRAMME
Ehsaas is a first-of-its-kind poverty-reduction program that aims to create a welfare state by uplifting those living in destitution. It is one of the biggest programs ever launched in Pakistan for the prosperity of poor women, widows, orphans, homeless, disabled, poor farmers, poor labourers and others from low-income backgrounds. Along with promoting financial inclusion, this programme also focuses on the economic empowerment of women and access to medical and education facilities by using the latest technology.

As per the official website for the initiative, Ehsaas comprises more than 130 programmes and policies with 34 federal agencies and units working towards implementing them.

The Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship Programme is also a part of this initiative.

WHAT IS EHSAAS KAFAALAT PROGRAMME?

The Ehsaas Kafaalat Programme will provide low-income women with financial assistance in the form of PKR 2,000 per month. It aims to facilitate around 7 million beneficiaries by the end of 2020. The registration process of a million deserving women has already begun across 70 districts. A biometric system, named Ehsaas Digital Payment System, has also been introduced to ensure transparency in the payment method.

The programme will be divided into multiple phases, with phase 1 focusing on the registration of 10 lakh women across Pakistan who will start receiving their monthly stipends between February and March. The government will also open personal saving accounts in either Habib Bank or Bank Alfalah for each of the female beneficiaries of the Ehsaas Kafaalat program and provide them with ATM cards that they can use to withdraw money. These accounts will be linked to the recipients’ mobile number. Smartphones will also be provided to women under this initiative.

Desk and web registration of new beneficiaries will also continue during this period.

The details about the next phases of Ehsaas Kafaalat Programme, including the much-awaited soft loan scheme that can help low-income women set up their own business, will be disclosed later.

WHO IS ELIGIBLE FOR EHSAAS KAFAALAT PROGRAMME?
The poverty alleviation program launched by the Government of Pakistan is only meant for women who belong to the low-income class.

Meanwhile, taxpayers, car owners, government servants and their spouses and people who have a history of foreign travelling will not be eligible to receive a monthly stipend or any other facility under the Ehsaas Kafaalat Programme.

On the other hand, all beneficiaries under this programme will also be eligible for other Ehsaas initiatives.

HOW ARE THE BENEFICIARIES IDENTIFIED?
Beneficiaries of Ehsaas Kafaalat Initiative
The beneficiaries of the programme will also be provided with a personal savings account and access to a smartphone (Credit: Facebook/BISP Pakistan)
A number of methods will be implemented to identify the beneficiaries of Ehsaas Kafaalat Programme. These include:

Ehsaas NADRA Desk Registration Centers set up in each Tehsil
Door to door digital survey
Data analytics
Web and desk survey
HOW TO APPLY FOR THE EHSAAS KAFAALAT PROGRAMME?
The Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division has set a few specific parameters for those planning to register for Ehsaas programme by the Government of Pakistan.

An applicant can collect a form through the designated Ehsaas Kafaalat registration centre established across Pakistan. Once they submit the duly filled form, their data will be checked against those parameters through a computerized system. The successful applicants will be notified accordingly.

The applicants must also have their Computerized National Identity Card for the Ehsaas Kafaalat registration, though they may be asked to present a few other documents as well.

RECEIVING STIPEND UNDER EHSAAS KAFAALAT PROGRAMME
Ehsaas Kafaalat Programme for low-income women
The Ehsaas Kafaalat Programme will provide PKR 2,000 per month to its beneficiaries (Credit: Facebook/BISP Pakistan)
The beneficiaries of Ehsaas Kafaalat Programme will receive PKR 2,000 during the first week of each month. The payments will be made through the biometric Ehsaas Digital Payment System.

In order to withdraw money, the recipients can either use their biometric-enabled ATMs, visit the dedicated bank branches or through the designated Point of Sales agents in each city.

These options would ensure transparency in the payment distribution and receiving process.

Apart from the Ehsaas initiative, Prime Minister Imran Khan’s ground-breaking Kamyab Jawan Programme has also drawn a massive response from the public. The main objective of this programme is to create job opportunities for the unemployed youth in Pakistan and provide them with means to be successful in their respective career paths.

The PM’s Kamyab Jawan Programme comprises six schemes, which are as follows:

Youth Entrepreneurship Scheme
Startup Pakistan Programme
Hunarmand Pakistan (Skills for All) Programme
Green Youth Movement
National Internship Programme
Youth Engagement Platform
The first three initiatives on the list have already been launched while the last three will be initiated soon.