40 million lockdown affected people applied for assistance so far


Millions still trying to register to get government aid

More than 40 million lockdown affected people have already applied for government assistance under Ehsas Emergency Cash Programme (EECP). Millions more are trying to get registered with the authorities to get financial help from the government.
The large number of poor families and daily wage labourers are still struggling to seek help to apply under the scheme across Pakistan. The authorities have no authentic data to verify the credentials of daily wage and contract workers made unemployed by lockdown due to coronavirus.
The government has already delayed the disbursement of cash assistance to affected poor families. The lockdown has affected millions of daily wage workers-self-employed and street vendors and small traders who were used to earn their income on daily wages. They have lost their livelihood. Many of them are now facing extremely hard situation because they have left with hardly any money to feed the families.
 Many daily wage earners have complained to the media and that they were used to earn Rs 1200 to Rs 1500 per day before the lockdown. But now they have nothing to lives on. They cannot even buy milk for their children and other essentials. Many people are worried about paying rents and other utilities.
The lack of authentic data is delaying the disbursement of cash assistance. The government needs to speed up the process to reach out the needy families without further delay.      
The federal government has started the disbursement of Rs 12,000 per month financial assistance under Ehsas programme. The federal government will provide help to 12 million poor families affected by the lockdown. The federal government allocated Rs 144 billion for this programe.  
The Sindh government is also trying to help out the daily wage workers and poor families. The Sindh government is registering people for disbursement cash to them.
More than 15 million affected citizens have applied for financial aid under the Punjab Chief Minister’s Insaf Imdad Programme (CMIIP). The Punjab government has allocated Rs 10 billion for this programe. The Punjab government has also extended the programe to 2.5 million families.
Punjab chief minister Sardar Usman Buzdar has told the media that his government has disbursed financial assistance of Rs1.5 billion under the CMIIP among 170,000 poor families across Punjab.
A source involved in scrutinising credentials of affected people has revealed that unprecedented number of people has applied for financial assistance-so both the federal and provincial governments have tightened criteria of eligible families and verification process.

The government help line is instructing the people to visit their respective deputy commissioner’s office to seek the government financial aid. It is not possible for the people to visit the deputy commissioner’s office as lockdown imposed in Punjab and Sindh provinces. Millions of people are facing problems to register and to get assistance in these difficult times. There is no public transport available for the people to visit the DC office from the far flung areas of district.
An official disclosed that after verification of credentials, the DC’s office would prepare lists of eligible applicants and recommend the suitable mode of disbursements such as mobile fund transfer or cash payments.
He highlighted that applicants’ data was also being verified by matching it with multiple databases across the country including the NADRA, BISP, property ownership and vehicle registration etc.
Many people find it hard to register themselves through government portal. In many parts the internet services are not working properly including former FATA areas.
There is urgent need to extend government assistance and aid to every worker and poor family affected by the lockdown. A well-coordinated effort needs to be made between the federal and provincial governments. The government should find out some immediate solution otherwise people would be bound to violate the government’s social distancing measures or die with their families due to hunger.
                                            Khalid Bhatti  

1 comment:

  1. Federal govt started disbursement today, let's hope some relief to needy persons

    ReplyDelete

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