ISLAMABAD - The Ehsaas Emergency Cash pro­gram has commenced disburse­ments to the second category of beneficiaries Wednesday.

All of the beneficiaries in the second category have been en­rolled through 8171 SMS service and they were declared eligible based on their profiling checks in the national socio-economic data­base as well as the wealth profil­ing checks.

Dr. Sania Nishtar, Prime Minis­ter’s Special Assistant on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, visited the cash distribution camp­site at IMCG Girls College located at G-10/4, Islamabad and interacted with beneficiaries who had come to collect their payments. Each one of them had a customized message on their phone addressed to them with their names to visit the near­est payment centre on April 15, 2020 and collect emergency cash hand out of Rs. 12,000.

Briefing the media about these Ehsaas category-2 beneficiaries, Dr. Sania said, “Each one of these beneficiaries was either the wife of a labourer whose livelihood has been badly affected by the corona­virus crisis or is a domestic help­er herself who has been laid off by the employers. Without any food, they are at the brink of run­ning out food rations. So, these Rs. 12,000 come to them at a very crit­ical time.”

Dr. Nishtar also thanked the Is­lamabad Capital Territory Police and district administration, Islam­abad for their facilitation in se­curing and managing queues and crowds at the designated camp­sites. Dr. Nishtar also spoke to the retailers and informed them about the Cabinet’s decision yesterday on the waiver of advance withholding tax on commission collected un­der section 233 of the Income Tax Ordinance, 2001 from branchless banking agents. She urged them to do an effective crackdown against corruption.

The Ehsaas Emergency Cash payment notifications will go to new Ehsaas Emergency Cash re­cipients registered through 8171 in a staggered manner over the next seven days. In the initial batch, women will get payments and in next batches, men will start getting payments.

Till Wednesday 83.61 million SMS were received. The analy­sis is underway and the deadline for registration is April 19, 2020 midnight. To-date, Ehsaas has dis­bursed Rs. 37.608 billion emer­gency cash to 3.134 million de­serving families.