ECC approves mechanism for cash transfers to labourers

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ECC meeting

ISLAMABAD: The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) on Friday approved the ‘criteria and mechanism’ for Emergency Cash Assistance to labourers whose livelihoods have been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The PM had made an announcement in this regard earlier this month which required a formal approval from the ECC, said a statement issued by the Finance Ministry.

The ECC meeting was chaired by Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.

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

In his announcement, the PM had directed that the funds shall be disbursed through Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme. The PM had also announced that for every rupee donated, the government shall match Rs4 in the fund.

“The budget envelop of Rs75 billion released to the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), out of the Rs200 billion earmarked in PM’s relief package for distribution among labourers in the country, would be used for this purpose. The modalities of the disbursement are worked out by Finance Division, Poverty Alleviation Division and BISP.”

Meanwhile, 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 would be received only through Ehsaas Labour portal for inclusion of beneficiaries in Category-IV.

According to the statement, cash disbursement of Rs12,000 (one time assistance) would be made to eligible applicants through existing payment mechanism of BISP. Provinces, AJK, GB and ICT would be allocated quota in Ehsaas Labour Assistance in accordance with their population share.

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