ECC okays 2nd Phase of ‘Ehsaas’ to increase beneficiaries to 8m

Mohammad Arshad

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet Wednesday approved the launching of second Phase of ‘Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program’, which envisages increasing the number of regular ‘Ehsaas Kafalat’ beneficiaries to 8 million by June, 2021 through the ongoing National Socio-economic Registry Survey (NSER).

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin virtually chaired the ECC meeting, according to press statement issued by the Finance Ministry here.

All these beneficiaries would be provided a 6 monthly tranche (January- June, 2021) of Rs 12000 per beneficiary under Ehsaas Kafalat while 4 million additional beneficiaries would be identified through the ongoing NSER survey by using higher eligibility threshold while remaining below the poverty line.

These additional 4 million beneficiaries would also be provided one-time emergency cash assistance of Rs12000 per beneficiary to compensate for unemployment caused by COVID.

The disbursement process would be initiated within this financial year, the statement said adding the financial impact of providing assistance to these 4 million additional beneficiaries would be Rs 48 billion.

Meanwhile, a summary was moved by Ministry of Energy (Power Division) for the payment of balance amount of Net Hydel Profits to WAPDA through Power Division / CPPA-G.

The cabinet committee decided to form a committee with members from Power Division, WAPDA and Finance Division to discuss the matter in detail and suggest a mechanism for payment of Net Hydel Projects in a timely manner without pressurizing the national exchequer.

ECC also approved the issuance of 12 different notifications for the implementation of Pakistan Single Window (PSW) Act, 2021.

The Implementation of the PSW Act 2021 would significantly reduce the paperwork for importers and exporters and would help boosting the trade and economic activity by providing connectivity between different government organizations and with other regional and global windows.