Special assistant claims efforts underway to raise awareness on shopkeepers who will facilitate subsidy for consumers
Special Assistant to the P.M. on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Sania Nishtar on Sunday announced that over one million Pakistanis had already registered for the Ehsaas Rashan Riayat Program.
Since the registration process launched earlier this month, she said, around 40 million people had submitted their data to the portal. She said 20 million families would be covered by the initiative announced by Prime Minister Imran Khan on Nov. 3, reiterating that they would receive a monthly subsidy of Rs. 1,000 each that would reduce the prices of flour, ghee and pulses.
Explaining that only one individual of each family could register for the program, which is only applicable on families with monthly income of less than Rs. 31,500/month, she said that the subsidy would see flour prices reduced by Rs. 22; ghee by Rs. 105; and pulses by Rs. 55. Additionally, she said, awareness campaigns were underway to educate shopkeepers on how to utilize the Ehsaas Rashan Riayat Program web portal.
Nishtar emphasized that it was important for grocery merchants to have valid bank accounts to participate in the subsidy initiative. Authorized merchants with valid bank accounts would be directed to download a Mobile Point of Sale application on their cell phones, she said, adding it would track the eligibility of potential buyers and pass on the subsidy.
According to government authorities, the Rs. 1,000/month subsidy would be covered by both the provincial and federal governments, with the center set to contribute Rs. 350 and the provincial governments Rs. 650. While Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and Punjab—both ruled by the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf—have signed on to the initiative, neither Balochistan and Sindh have done so, raising the question of whether residents of those provinces would receive the promised subsidy.
In her media interaction, Nishtar claimed the incumbent government was prioritizing relief for the masses, as well as resolving their issues. She said that deserving beneficiaries of the Rashan program would be identified through the Ehsaas National Socio-Economic Registry Survey, and urged low-income families to register through the Ehsaas Rashan portal with their CNIC number.