The Balochistan Cabinet was briefed on Monday about the Ehsaas Program of the federal government. The Cabinet meeting was chaired by Chief Minister Balochistan, Jam Kamal Khan. The briefing was given by Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation who was on a two-day visit to Quetta to raise awareness about Ehsaas and forge partnership with the provincial government.
The Cabinet took keen interest in Ehsaas programme and had several questions about the new national socio-economic registry survey which is underway to identify the poor. Dr. Nishtar briefed the Cabinet about Prime Minister’s priority programme ‘One Window Ehsaas’ and outlined many initiatives including Kifalat, Tahafuz, National Poverty Graduation Initiative, and online free resources that will be extended to provinces. She emphasized that the new programme will benefit all provinces.
The Chief Minister’s team explained about the social welfare programme in the pipeline with the government of Balochistan and expressed a keen interest to collaborate. Dr. Sania Nishtar also briefed the Cabinet about the new Solutions Innovation Challenge Policy being launched shortly to develop solutions at scale for the poor by partnering with the private sector.
Earlier in the day, Dr. Nishtar met with CM Balochistan who briefed him about the innovations in PSDP process that Balochistan had spearheaded and the new instruments of social protection.
Dr. Nishtar appreciated the initiative and vision of the CM. Both agreed to explore collaboration in the area of Balochistan’s Awami Endowment Fund and ‘Ehsaas Tahafuz’, as well as in the area of provincial finance commission which is Ehsaas policy area number 8 (PM’s Ehsaas Policy Statement dated March 27, 2019).
On Sunday, Dr. Nishtar visited the regional office of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) in Quetta and district office in Pishin to oversee the provincial progress and operations of BISP in Balochistan. She also met with the beneficiaries and guided them about the revamped BISP process and reform to make safety net transactions more transparent. Dr. Nishtar also paid a surprise visit to District Headquarters Hospital in Pishin and took a round of facility, talked to patients and their families about quality of healthcare they receive locally.
As part of her meetings in Quetta, Dr. Nishtar called on Governor Balochistan, Amanullah Yaseenzai in Quetta on Sunday. She briefed the Governor about Ehsaas programme and its upcoming strategy. “The Ehsaas’ premise is primarily grounded in the importance of fostering federal provincial cooperation, strengthening institutions, transparency and good governance”, Dr. Nishtar added. Honorable Governor Balochistan, lauded the federal government’s efforts to benefit and uplift marginalized and deprived segments of the society through Ehsaas framework.
On Sunday evening, Dr. Nishtar paid a visit to Saylani Welfare International Trust in Quetta to explore options to collaborate under ‘Ehsaas’.’