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Special Assistant to the prime minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar has said that Ehsaas Program is aimed at good service delivery and towards federal and provincial partnerships. She said, talking to the media after having a meeting with chairman Planning and Development Board at Civil Secretariat, here on Saturday.

She was given a presentation on Punjab Ehsas program. Dr Sania said that the government was moving to demand-based social protection away from the supply in order to address catastrophic risks in lives of people which governments should take into account. "An effort through comprehensive data sets is being made for real deserving beneficiaries to avoid false inclusions that has been happening in the past," she said, adding another effort was being made to make procurement process transparent by introducing new processes to avoid financial mismanagement and discourage the agent mafia prevalent in social protection programs in past. She appreciated Punjab team efforts in Punjab Ehsaas Program that has been designed with several programs for the poor in society. These include programs for the elderly, widows, civilian martyrs, acid burn victims, orphans and many others.

The focus of the meeting was to consolidate all federal and provincial social protection programs under a single framework. Dr Sania Nishtar on the occasion said that social protection is one of the key areas of the overall vision of the Prime Minister of Pakistan.

Chairman P&D Board Habibur Rahman Gillani said that this was the era of new collaboration and partnerships where there would be no duplication of interventions and efforts. The vice chairman Social Protection Authority said that the government was committed to making lives of people easier through programs that would not only make their lives easier but also support them to get out of extreme poverty in time.

Punjab Ehsaas Programme includes "Baa Himmat Buzurg" designed for elderly people of more than 65 years of age that will help more than 150,000 elderly people who are facing economic hardships. They will be given an allowance of Rs 2000 per month and for this purpose an estimated amount of Rs 3 billion has been allocated.

The "Hum Qadam" program has been designed for the people suffering from different physical disabilities. An amount of Rs 3.5 billion has been allocated for this purpose. This program will help more than 200,000 people of the society.

Widows and orphans will be helped through the "Sarparast" program being introduced with a budget of Rs 2 billion under which widows will be provided a monthly scholarship of Rs 2000 and afterwards easy credit schemes and asset credit program will be introduced for them.

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