ISLAMABAD: In an alarming disclosure, a press release from the Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD) Thursday revealed that there were “23 poorest districts across the four provinces of Pakistan” — at a time when the federal government claims to have taken remarkable initiatives to uplift the socio-economic conditions of the deprived segments of the society.
The revelation on 23 poorest districts was made at a meeting chaired by Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar. The meeting was held to review implementation of Ehsaas Amdan Programme.
“The meeting virtually tracked the progress of Ehsaas Amdan being implemented in 388 rural union councils of 23 poorest districts across the four provinces,” a press release by PASSD issued after the meeting said.
It said Prime Minister Imran Khan launched Ehsaas Amdan Programme in February last year to “enhance the livelihoods of downtrodden segments of society.”
Sania Nishtar said addition of new districts should be “purely on already set criteria and according to human development ranking of the districts.”
She further emphasized on the need to be “responsive to the circumstances and needs of potential beneficiaries.”
Muhammad Ali Shahzada, Secretary PASSD stressed to expedite progress on Ehsaas Amdan.
The four-year Amdan programme worth budgeted at Rs 15 billion features transferring around 200,000 assets to the deserving households with 60 percent women and 30 per cent youth beneficiaries, he said.
Under the programme, a financial support of Rs. 60,000 per household has been provisioned for asset transfers that will ultimately impact the lives of 1.4 million people over four years, the Secretary added.
Till date, income generating assets worth Rs 2.32 billion have been granted to 38,749 vulnerable households to set them on a course of socio-economic prosperity, he said.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2021