Government’s bold decision to depoliticise safety nets Quaid’s picture to be on Ehsaas Kafaalat cards

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Staff Reporter

Prime Minister Imran Khan will launch the innovative new Kafaalat program, on Jan 31 which will provide PKR 2,000 monthly cash payments to 7 million of the poorest women in the country. In a brave and unprecedented move, the new Ehsaas Kafaalat card unveiled today has the Quaid’s picture. Previous safety net initiatives under BISP were mired in politicisation because of the image of political figures. For decades, Benazir Bhutto’s picture dominated the BISP card. Later, in Nawaz Sharif’s Government, two pictures appeared on the card—Nawaz Sharif above and Benazir below. By putting the Quaid’s picture on the identification card, the Government has settled the matter once and for all and has depoliticised the matter of safety nets.
Coming under the umbrella of Ehsaas, the Kafaalat will realise the Prime Minister’s longstanding commitment to “Money for Rations” and ‘One Woman, One Bank Account’. All beneficiaries will be able to access the payments at special ATMs and bank branches and will also have to option to deposit funds into a savings account.
“There are major differences between the earlier BISP program and Kafaalat”, said Dr. Sania Nishtar. “Major changes have been made after 10 years. The survey methodology has been revised to enable ongoing identification of beneficiaries through desk registration. The earlier survey was 10 years old. Also, the payment system was 10 years old ad through a new procurement process, a new payment system has been installed. The cash transfer has been increased, inflation adjusted and the safety net Kafaalat now offers digital and financial inclusion opportunity since women will have bank accounts and better access to mobile phones. We are using data analytics to refine the list of beneficiaries and make sure that only the true deserving have access to safety nets”, added Dr. Sania Nishtar.
However, the hallmark is transparency and integrity in operations and full compliance with the Ehsaas Governance and Integrity Policy.
Tomorrow’s launch will change the lives of millions of poor women, who under previous cash-transfer schemes have been vulnerable to abuse and subject to financial exclusion. The Kafaalat program will be launched tomorrow and is expected to benefit seven million women by the end of 2020.