The government’s social safety net Ehsaas has completed a fresh poverty survey for 2021 in the country according to which the programme beneficiaries has increased to 8.2 million. As per the 2021 data based on the fresh survey, 3.4 million people have been added to the list of beneficiaries.
According to the 2011 survey, there were 4.8 million people registered with the Benazir Income Support Programme in addition to those 800,000 beneficiaries including government employees whose names were removed from the list in December 2019 for being “ineligible”.
While speaking to the media on Sunday, Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Social Welfare and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar said: “We have completed the first-ever digital survey/data of Ehsaas Kafalat (BISP) after a two-year hectic countrywide exercise in which hundreds of trained volunteers accompanied by Ehsaas programme’s staff having laptops in their hands went door to door to accomplish the job.”
SAPM further said the last BISP survey had been conducted through some non-governmental organisations, but this time Ehsaas staff themselves carried it out with the help of trained volunteers mostly comprising teachers.
“It is the first-ever digital poverty survey in the country for which 20,000 laptops were purchased for survey teams. Once the survey of a specific area was completed, these laptops were sent to other places for the same purpose.”
She added by saying that the survey was verified by a third-party audit.
Moreover, the government has also enhanced the fund for the programme to Rs 250 billion. “It was Rs 116 billion in 2018-19, Rs 196 billion in 2019-20 and Rs 250 billion at present,” she said.
The PM’s aide said those added to the list of beneficiaries were eligible for different programmes such as Ehsaas Waseela-i-Taleem, Ehsaas Kafalat, Ehsaas Amdan, Ehsaas Nashonuma, Ehsaas interest-free loans, Ehsaas Langar, Ehsaas scholarship, Ehsaas emergency cash, Ehsaas Covid-19 fund, Ehsaas Koi Bhooka Na Soye, Ehsaas One-Window, Ehsaas Agriculture Loans, Mazdoor Ka Ehsaas, and Rehri ban schemes.