LAHORE - Federal Minister for Education Shafqat Mehmood has said, on Saturday, that provision of financial aid under Prime Minister Ehsaas Kafalat Programme would be ensured on merit.

Talking to the media after visiting PM Ehsaas Kafalat distribution centres here, he said that verification process for the financial aid was underway and there would be no compromise on transparency. Formation of tiger force was also aimed to ensure that every deserving person was approached for distribution of aid.

He said that more than 17,000 centres had been set up across the country to facilitate the deserving people under the programme. He said that practice of social distancing was being ensured at these centres as well. He said that the data of the beneficiaries was taken from Benazir Income Support Programme to ensure transparency.

To a question, he said that a decision to lift lockdown in the province would be taken after viewing the situation of coronavirus spread in the country.  

The minister visited Ehsaas Kafalat distribution centres at Girls High School Gopalnagar, Ferozpur Road and Government Central Model Girls High School Gulberg-II to review arrangements there. During his visit to a Utility Store in Model Town, Shafqat inspected the availability of daily-use items, its stock and smooth supply to people.

He inquired from the customers about availability of items on subsidized rates at the store. The customers expressed satisfaction over availability of the commodities. The staff on duty told the minister that sufficient stock of necessary items was available and its smooth supply was being ensured.

Shafqat Mehmood said that provision of food items would continue in the month of Ramazan to facilitate people.

Meanwhile, Deputy Commissioner (DC) Danish Afzal visited various Ehsaas Kafalat Programme (EKP) centres and reviewed the arrangements made for the public.

He visited one centre at Government High School Ali Raza Abad, CDGL Girls High School Multan Road, Government Boys High School Kahna Kacha and one in Samnabad.

He directed the officials concerned to adopt the standard operating procedures (SOPs) regarding coronavirus and said that all visitors were allowed to enter the centres only after washing their hands properly.

He said that medical camps were also set up for the vulnerable families in these centres. He added that screening process regarding coronavirus of the visitors was also conducted at the centres.    The DC mentioned that distribution process was continuing smoothly. He added that the district administration was utilising all potential resources to provide facilitate to the public in this time of trial.

The DC said that special camps titled ‘Ehsaas Kafalat Programme Centre’ for disbursement of financial aid were set up at 30 points of the provincial capital. Danish Afzal said that around 59,000 persons got financial aid from these centres under the complete supervision of concerned assistant commissioners, who were to ensure the transparent disbursement of financial aid to the needy.

Parks and Horticulture Authority (PHA) Chairman Yasir Gillani also visited a centre, set up for disbursement of financial aid among the people affected by lockdown under the Ehsaas Kafalat Programme in Shahdara area.

He reviewed arrangements there and expressed his satisfaction. He appreciated the district administration, police and other authorities for making necessary arrangements at the centre.