Issue Brief on “Ehsaas Rashan Madad Program: Government’s Economic Relief Package for the Poor”

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In order to reduce the impact of rising inflation on the poor people, Prime Minister Imran Khan, on November 3, 2021, announced a relief package worth Rs120 billion. This program called the Raashan Madad Package will be under the purview of the Ehsaas Program and will be aimed at providing relief to 20 million families at first, which will in turn benefit 130 million Pakistanis overall. The program has been designed as a precision-target system of subsidy delivery focusing on deserving beneficiaries to provide financial assistance for the purchase of essential commodities at a discount through digitally processed transactions.[1]

Dr Saniya Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister for Poverty Reduction and Social Security, informed the cabinet that in the wake of massive increases in commodity prices, with the costs of 3 major food items rising 15% during the year, the Government of Pakistan will help the poor and vulnerable people by launching Rashan Madad Program. For this, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has appointed the National Bank of Pakistan as the sole national agent for this subsidy program.[2]Under the program, household people who have less than Rs 31,500 monthly incomes will be eligible for a subsidy of Rs 1,000 per household per month to cover staple foods, including wheat flour, pulses (daal) and vegetable oil, in addition to 25% of food spending for low-income households to reduce the inflationary impact on vulnerable populations due to rising inflation.

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