ISLAMABAD                 -              The government has registered 64 FIRs against 72 fraudsters across the country for illegally deducting money from the cash of the deserving people under the Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme.

Soon after the beginning of disbursing of money under the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program on April 9, complaints were coming from the beneficiaries regarding the imposition of cuts on the Rs 12000 emergency aid.

The arrests were made after complaints were received by several beneficiaries of the programme, said a spokesperson of the program.

“As the Ehsaas Emergency Cash distribution scales up countrywide, so does the resolve to fight embezzlement and fraudsters on the ground. On several complaints by the people, 36 looters have been arrested in Punjab, while 26 of them were arrested in Sindh and 10 in KP for illegally deducting money from the cash they paid to deserving people under the Ehsaas Emergency Cash programme. Overall 64 FIRs have been registered countrywide against these 72 fraudsters.

The detainees have been handed over to local police for further action. They would be dealt with according to the law.  

Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, meanwhile said, “No one would be allowed to illegally deduct any money from Ehsaas Emergency Cash payment to low-income families. Ehsaas is being supported by all state agencies on the ground to fight corruption. We are tracking FIRs in police stations and I want strict action against all fraudsters.”

Vowing to fight corruption till her last breath, she stated, “I have also written a stern letter directing officials in Ehsaas regional offices to ensure transparency and full payments to beneficiaries.

Alongside that, Ehsaas toll free helpline 0800-26477 has been designated to take complaints of mismanagement in the field which handles around 1,500 complaints every day.”

According the spokesperson, Ehsaas continues disbursing emergency cash on the fifth day of its operations to benefit the deserving people from all the four provinces, Azad Jammu and Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan, through allocating quota as per census.

Since April 9, Ehsaas has distributed Rs. 25.68 billion to 2.095 million families all over Pakistan and the programme will reach out to a total of 12 million people in next two weeks.

In the emergency cash distribution, social distancing is a priority and Ehsaas is striving to safeguard COVID-19 precautionary measures. Out of the planned 17,000 biometrically enabled Ehsaas cash distribution points, 9,419 have been currently been deployed countrywide.

To prevent overcrowding of cash receivers, the number of cash distribution centres and counters is being increased.

In the first phase of the programme, 4.5 million Kafaalat beneficiaries would be paid emergency cash this week while cash transfer to 7.5 million Category -2 beneficiaries of emergency cash being identified through 8171 SMS service will commence by the end of this week.