Immediately after the disbursal to category-4 beneficiaries through PM COVID-19 fund by the Prime Minister, Dr. Sania Nishtar, PM’s Special Assistant tweeted an explanatory video to elaborate the entire process for identification and payments to category-4 Ehsaas beneficiaries.
Earlier on April 3, 2020, Dr. Nishtar, had tweeted the first descriptive video to inform the wider audience about details of beneficiary identification criteria and payment mechanism for categories 1-3 under Ehsaas Emergency Cash program. The video explained the beneficiary identification process, SMS campaign, and the process flow, data analytics, district-level verification procedure, profiling criteria, payment mechanism, and challenges foreseen for the cash program.
Since April 9, 2020, Ehsaas Emergency Cash worth Rs. 106.8 billion have been disbursed for categories 1-3 among more than 87 million families countrywide. To safeguard the transparency, the Ehsaas information portal has been made online to give real-time updates about the number of beneficiaries served in each of the categories 1-3 with the provincial, district, and tehsil-wise breakdowns.
Fully premised on the principle of integrity, the portal highlights amounts disbursed to partnering banks for distribution to beneficiaries, and the number of beneficiaries who have withdrawn money. The portal can be accessed through this link. https://www.pass.gov.pk/
Regarding payments through PM COVID-19 funded Ehsaas emergency cash, Dr. Nishtar apprised that category-4 has been introduced to the category mix of emergency cash program for benefitting 6 million men and women who lost their jobs due to the lockdown.
Funds for this category come from PM’s COVID-19 relief fund, and category-4 beneficiaries will also be paid one-time assistance of Rs. 12, 000 each channeled through the Ehsaas Emergency Cash system. PM has committed that for every rupee donated by donors, 4 rupees will be contributed by the government. Earlier on, PM had launched the web-portal for soliciting applications for this category on May 2.
Since then, the portal is open to applications in line with the criteria detailed in the web-based application form. Applicants are required to give a declaration while submitting an application form that they lost their job due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The portal can be accessed at this link: ehsaaslabour.nadra.gov.pk
As part of the Ehsaas Emergency Cash framework, categories 1-3 are funded through the government’s COVID package. Category-1 includes 4.5 million Kafaalat beneficiary women that were cleared from the NADRA data analytics before inclusion in the Kafaalat program. Category-2 includes 4 million men and women who entered the emergency cash program through the 8171 SMS campaign. And, Category-3 caters for 3.5 million men and women identified through district administrations and 8171 SMS campaign.
Explaining the whole process for identification of category-4 beneficiaries and payments through PM COVID-19 Fund, Dr. Nishtar says,
The existing principles, processes and data analytics that have been applied to Ehsaas Emergency Cash categories 1-3 will be fully deployed in the use of PM COVID-19 donor funds for identification of category-4 beneficiaries. Rule-based criteria will be fully adhered to and is available online. The procedure of identification will be fully apolitical and free from human interference. All disbursements will be made after biometric verification and there will be full transparency in the deployment of funds.