ECC Approves Emergency Cash Assistance for Laborers

The Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet has approved the Emergency Cash Assistance (Criteria and Mechanism) for the laborers whose livelihoods have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The announcement was made earlier by the Prime Minister and required the formal approval of the ECC. The meeting of the committee was chaired by the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.

The Prime Minister on May 3rd, 2020 announced that the money collected through PM’s COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Assistance Fund 2020 will be used to assist workers whose livelihood has been affected due to the lockdown and its impact on the economy. In his announcement the PM directed that the funds shall be disbursed through the Ehsaas Emergency Cash program.

The Prime Minister had also announced that for every rupee donated the government shall match 4 rupees in the fund. The budget includes Rs. 75 billion released to BISP out of the Rs. 200 billion earmarked in PM’s relief package for distribution among labor in the country will be used for this purpose. The modalities of the disbursement are worked out by the Finance Division, Poverty Alleviation Division, and BISP.

BISP Board has approved that in order to identify the beneficiaries for Ehsaas Labour (Category-IV) the eligibility criteria used for Category–III of Ehsaas Emergency Cash may be used.

The applications will be received only through the Ehsaas Labour portal for the inclusion of beneficiaries in Category-iv. A cash disbursement of Rs. 12000,(one-time assistance) will be made to eligible applicants through the existing payment mechanism of BISP. Provinces, AJK, GB, and ICT will be allocated quota in Ehsaas Labour assistance in accordance with their population share.