ISLAMABAD: The government has decided to provide additional 4 million people with one-time cash assistance of Rs12, 000 per family and has approved a supplementary budget of Rs26.5 billion for this purpose.

The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the Cabinet, led by Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, approved the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) expansion to 8 million families as part of the Ehsaas emergency programme on Wednesday.

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The additional one-time support for the 4 million families will cost Rs48 billion in total. The BISP, however, was unable to spend Rs22 billion from its current year’s budget, which will now be redirected to the Ehsaas emergency program’s second phase, according to the finance ministry.

Through the ongoing National Socioeconomic Registry Survey, the ministry said the 2nd phase aims to increase regular Ehsaas Kafalat recipients to 8 million by June 2021. (NSER).

Ehsaas Kafalat would offer a six-month payment of Rs12, 000 to each beneficiary (from January to June 2021). Using a higher qualifying level while remaining below the poverty line, the 4 million new beneficiaries will be discovered through the continuing NSER survey.

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