PM Imran launches SMS service to provide emergency cash

11:16 PM | 1 Apr, 2020
PM Imran launches SMS service to provide emergency cash
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ISLAMABAD - Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday launched a national level SMS service under the “Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program” to cater to the financial needs of the poor, needy and deserving people in the wake of ongoing Coronavirus situation.

Under the emergency cash program, the needy people could get a lump sum of Rs. 12,000 as financial assistance for four months by sending their Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC) number through SMS service on 8171.

The people sending their CNIC numbers would get a reply of their eligibility or otherwise for availing the facility after the analysis of their data by the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program.

The prime minister while launching the service sent his CNIC number through SMS service on 8171 and got a reply that being a government servant he was not eligible for the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program.

Special Assistant to the PM on Social Protection Dr. Sania Nishter briefed the prime minister in detail about the Emergency Cash Program.

According to details, the Ehsaas Emergency Cash program has been planned in the context of the economic hardships being experienced by the vulnerable due to the ongoing Coronavirus crisis.

The currently stalled economic activity affects daily wage earners and piece-rate workers, the most. In addition, layoffs in the formal economy were also pushing people below the poverty line.

Within this context, the Ehsaas Emergency Cash initiative has been designed for simple and easy rollout, using the existing at-scale digital payment capacity of the Government of Pakistan, which has been developed within the Poverty Alleviation Division.

An SMS campaign will be the entry point to identify the beneficiaries. Through an aggressive communication campaign, citizens will be informed that they can send an SMS on 8171 to check their eligibility status.

In the event of their being eligible, they will receive an SMS message informing them of how to collect money. If they are not identified in the database, they will be directed to contact their respective district administration.