Special Assistant to the P.M. on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation says new portal will address any questions beneficiaries may have about initiative
Evidence-based communication on the Ehsaas Digital portal will help the government counter rumors and misinformation about the PTI’s flagship social welfare program, Special Assistant to the P.M. on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Sania Nishtar said on Wednesday.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad to launch the new website, she said that it would deter corruption and fraud. “This digital information and services platform will deter corruption and fraud by providing the common man with relevant and appropriate information about Ehsaas benefits and services,” she said, adding that it would empower and facilitate citizens by providing easy access to all information and services linked to the Ehsaas program.
“The digital e-portal offers Ehsaas-specific information to address people’s questions about how they can benefit from its diverse programs,” she said, explaining that the portal would serve as a “one stop” source of information for citizens who wished to enroll and benefit from Ehsaas initiatives. According to a press release, the portal integrates benefits and services linked to Ehsaas for 14 different groups, including the extreme poor, orphans, widows, homeless, disabled, undernourished, students from low-income backgrounds, and poor women and elderly citizens.
The SAPM stressed that the portal contains specifically designed instructional programs in Urdu to ensure the masses could easily understand the services available under various programs such as Ehsaas Kafaalat, Ehsaas Survey, Ehsaas Registration; Ehsaas Nashonuma; Waseela e Taleem Digital; Ehsaas Undergraduate Scholarship; Ehsaas Interest Free Loan; Ehsaas Bachat Account; Ehsaas Amdan; Dar-ul-Ehsaas, Ehsaas Panahgah; Ehsaas Langar; Ehsaas Koi Bhooka Na Soye; One Window Ehsaas; and Ehsaas Tahafuz. It provides visitors with the salient features, eligibility criteria, benefits, regional office addresses; as well as the helpline numbers for each program and initiative.
Ehsaas Digital is a part of the One-Window Ehsaas program, explained Nishtar, adding that this would boost transparency and allow authorities to respond to any queries or concerns in Urdu. Being able to communicate effectively with the public would help Ehsaas tailor its social protection and poverty alleviation response to be more people-centric, she stressed. She said work was also underway to provide all the instructional materials in Sindhi and Pashto.
Delineating the six “main pillars” of One-Window Ehsaas, she said it comprised a one stop shop, the Ehsaas Center; back office digital interface; a public facing digital information and services platform; a mobile app; cognitive API architecture-the integrated database; and the Ehsaas One Window Beneficiary Selection and Targeting Policy. She said the government hoped to open One-Window Ehsaas Centers in every district of the country.
To a question, according to state-run APP, the SAPM said Ehsaas had utilized Rs. 190 billion of its Rs. 200 billion allocation in the current fiscal. To another question, she clarified that Ehsaas was being funded by the government and had not received any foreign funds.