ISLAMABAD-The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet Friday has approved the Emergency Cash Assistance (Criteria and Mechanism) to the labour whose livelihoods has been affected by the COVID-19 Pandemic.

The announcement was made earlier by the Prime Minister and required the formal approval of the ECC. The meeting of the Economic Coordination Committee of the Cabinet was chaired by the Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.

The Prime Minister on May 3rd 2020 announced that the funds collected through PM’s COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Assistance Fund 2020 will be used to assist the labour whose livelihood have been affected due to the lockdown and its impact on the economy.

In his announcement the PM directed that the funds shall be disbursed through Ehsaas Emergency Cash program. The Prime Minister had also announced that for every rupee donated the government shall match 4 rupees in the fund. The budget envelop of Rs75 billion released to BISP out of the 200 billion earmarked in PM’s relief package for distribution among labour in the country will be used for this purpose. The modalities of the disbursement are worked out by Finance Division, Poverty Alleviation Division and BISP.

BISP Board has approved that in order to identify the beneficiaries for Ehsaas Labour (Category-iv) the eligibility criteria used for Category –III of Ehsaas Emergency Cash may be used. The applications will be received only through Ehsaas Labour portal for inclusion of beneficiaries in Category-iv. Cash disbursement of Rs12000 (one time assistance) will be made to eligible applicants through existing payment mechanism of BISP. Provinces, AJK, GB and ICT will be allocated quota in Ehsaas Labour assistance in accordance with their population share.

Prime Minister Imran Khan on Friday told the media that cash transfers to people who have become unemployed due to coronavirus will be made from Monday next from Prime Minister’s Fund. Meanwhile, Special assistant on Poverty Alleviation Dr. Sania Nishtar said category four of Ehsaas Emergency Cash program will start from Monday.

She said category four is for the people who have lost their jobs due to COVID-19. She said under this category around 34,000 applications have been received so far. She said deserving people can register themselves for this category on pmo.gov.pk.

She said the final decision for the applicants who have registered themselves through message service on 8171 for Ehsaas Emergency Cash will be made on Monday. The successful applicants will get their verifications via short message service on Monday.