Dr. Sania Nishtar Extends Hand of collaboration to Provincial Governments for Execution of Ehsaas Program
Islamabad, July 08, 2019 (PPI-OT): Dr Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation in a drive towards the inclusive implementation of Ehsaas Program at the National level held a series of consultative meetings with Prime Minister AJK, Raja Farooq Haider Khan, CM KP Mehmood Khan and CM Gilgit Baltistan (GB), Hafiz Hafeez ur Rehman, Chief Secretary Sindh and Secretary Finance, Government of Balochistan. These officials were present in the capital for the first steering committee meeting of Ehsaas, Chaired by the Prime Minister, Imran Khan.
During these meetings, Dr. Nishtar apprised them about the Ehsaas Program that is the flagship program of the government to reduce inequality and lift lagging districts. Briefing further, she added that the program is for the extreme poor, orphans, widows, the homeless, the disabled, those who risk medical impoverishment, for the jobless, for poor farmers, for laborers, for the sick and undernourished; for students from low-income backgrounds and for poor women and elderly citizens. This plan is also about lifting lagging areas where poverty is higher.
Dr. Nishtar asked about the existing provincial level social protection and welfare programs and initiatives, so that synergies could be developed between the Federal and the Provincial Governments. The goal is to help the poorest of the poor across the country with uniform approach, while maintaining apolitical nature of the program. Prime Minister AJK, Raja Farooq Haider Khan, in his meeting appreciated the Federal Program and assured all sort of logistical and administrative support for the success of the program in AJK.
He further referred that the population living on the Line of Control to be given priority in Ehsaas Program. In response to suggestions raised by the PM AJK, Dr. Nishtar assured the highest level of cooperation to incorporate the deserving population of AJK under the umbrella of Ehsaas. In the meeting with CM Gilgit Baltistan (GB), Hafiz Hafeez ur Rehman, he highlighted the contemporary social protection programs running across GB. CM GB also requested for the credible data for targeted subsidy interventions like wheat distribution, health and education etc.
Appreciating the work of GB Government, Dr. Nishtar shared that the Federal Government will soon devise an automated mechanism for the one window operation for Ehsaas beneficiaries to avoid duplications at federal and provincial levels. CM KP Mehmood Khan in his meeting with Dr. Nishtar lauded the National Poverty Graduation Initiative recently launched by the Prime Minister. The initiative will reduce the population’s dependence on government-led social safety nets and bring them into the mainstream of economic development and financial inclusion, he added.
Ehsaas’ strategy is articulated in four pillars and it currently embodies 115 policy actions, which may be expanded as the process of consultations on the program, further widens. The four pillars include: addressing elite capture and making the government system work to create equality; safety nets for disadvantaged segments of the population; jobs and livelihoods; and human capital development. 28 federal ministries/divisions/agencies are responsible for execution of Ehsaas.
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