Govt resolves issue of Ehsaas beneficiaries in Balochistan’s border districts

ISLAMABAD – The government will introduce a supplementary system of payment to Ehsaas beneficiaries in some areas of Balochistan as due to low mobile connectivity in the bordering districts of the province; people are unable to receive SMS for cash withdrawals. The issue of the low mobile connectivity in the border districts of Balochistan was raised by deputy commissioners of the border regions of the province in an interaction with Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety, Dr Sania Nishtar together with senior officials convened Ehsaas briefing here with commissioners and deputy commissioners of Balochistan.
The virtual meeting was held on special invitation of the chief secretary Balochsitan. The aim of the meeting was to inform the district administrations in Balochistan about the ongoing Ehsaas programme and initiatives and to seek collaborations for making enhancements in Ehsaas payment operations. Chief Secretary Balochistan and secretary BISP also joined the briefing. 
It was pointed out by the deputy commissioners from bordering districts of Balochistan that since Ehsaas’ digital system of payments is based on SMS service, and mobile connectivity is very low in those areas, people are unable to receive SMS for cash withdrawals. It was agreed that Ehsaas will introduce a supplementary system for the bordering areas of the province to resolve the issue. Dr Nishtar outlined details of multi-sectoral Ehsaas programmes specifically conditional and unconditional cash transfer programmes being executed in Balochsitan. 
In particular, the ongoing Ehsaas Kafaalat operations in the province were discussed in detail. It was described to DCs that all Ehsaas payment campsite arrangements in Balochistan around Ehsaas Kafaalat had been made in coordination with the provincial government. Beneficiary centered instructional communications plan for Ehsaas was also discussed in detail. 
Dr Sania appreciated the cooperation of district administrations of Balochistan in setting up specialised Ehsaas Kafaalat campsites across the province. To facilitate easy payments in remote regions of Balochistan, enhancements in Kafaalat payment operations were discussed bilaterally. It was agreed that the number of Ehsaas campsites, BVS enabled bank branches and point of sales agents will be increased in far flung sub-Tehsils of Awaran, Sherani, Surab and Kech. Also, roadmap was discussed to increase the province wise network of Ehsaas registration desks in collaboration with district administrations. 
Currently, Ehsaas registration desks for self enrolment of deserving families have temporarily been closed owing to the third wave of Covid-19 pandemic. Aiming to serve maximum number of households residing in geographically scattered areas of Balochistan, it was decided that the office of chief secretary Balochistan will share the lists of new areas to open registration centres. In this regard, all administrative arrangements to set up registration centres will be made by the office of the chief secretary Balochsitan. The result oriented discussions were widely lauded by DCs. Dr Nishtar assured full support to DCs to solve the highlighted issues in field. To expand and upscale several Ehsaas operations across Balochistan, another meeting will be held next month.

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