Imran Khan being briefed by Dr Sania Nishtar about the Ehsaas Saving Wallets in Islamabad on Monday.
Tariq Butt, Correspondent
Pakistan’s Prime Minister Imran Khan launched Ehsaas Saving Wallets (Ehsaas Bachat Bank Account) Initiative on Monday, which is aimed at financial and digital inclusion of women.
Speaking on the occasion, he termed it a very significant programme saying financial inclusion of women will help in their mainstreaming and reduce poverty. He said through Ehsaas Bachat Bank Account, the women will be able to better utilise the cash assistance being given to them under Ehsaas Programme.
Imran Khan interacts with one of the beneficiaries on Monday.
The prime minister was confident that like other programmes of Ehsaas, this will also prove to be a success. He pointed out that Ehsaas Cash Emergency programme has been ranked amongst top four social protection interventions by the World Bank.
Imran said in the wake of COVID-19, cash assistance was delivered to the deserving families in the most transparent and apolitical manner. He said if timely assistance was not delivered, the situation arising out of the pandemic would have added to the woes of the poor lot.
The prime minister noted that no nation can become great until and unless it takes care of the poor people. He once again expressed the commitment to uplift the weak segments of the society as per the principles of the State of Madinah.
Imran Khan during his visit to the Ehsaas Kafaalat payment site.
On the occasion, Special Assistant on Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar briefed the prime minister about the Ehsaas Saving Wallets. Under this programme, Ehsaas Kafaalat beneficiaries will have the option of either drawing their money or saving money into the digital wallets.
The beneficiaries of Kafaalat programme can open these accounts at agent shops or ATMs. Initial transactions through these accounts will include balance inquiry, cash in and cash out, transfer funds received from Ehsaas to mobile accounts, mobile top up, utility bill payments and money transfers.
Dr Nishtar said the social safety net will be further expanded and one window facility will be opened at Tehsil level to integrate all Ehsaas programmes under one roof.
She said the first one window facility will soon be opened in Islamabad. She said Ehsaas Saving Wallets will prove to be an important milestone for the economic empowerment of women. She said this programme has been framed keeping in view the best international practices.
"We had a very difficult two years. We didn't have foreign exchange and couldn't pay our debts. We have avoided a huge crisis because we didn't default (payments). But I know it hasn't been easy for the people, I understand the difficulties they faced and still are facing,” he said in a televised address to the nation.
The prime minister termed the signing of performance agreements a step in the right direction, and said the performance of each ministry will be evaluated based on the contracts and every ministry will put pressure on itself to meet its targets.
The prime minister personally drove the vehicle setting aside the protocol. He visited the modular carts placed in G-11 Markaz under Ehsaas Programme’s Rerhi Baan initiative. He questioned the cart owners about the position of their businesses.
The prime minister expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of the current local governments and said a system was being introduced at the village level under which funds would be transferred directly to the councils.
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