Govt announces free wheel chairs, white canes, hearing aids

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ISLAMABAD: Dr. Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Security and Poverty Alleviation, outlined series of steps being initiated by the government to help the most vulnerable section of the society.

The budget 2019-20 is being made in a cost-effective manner by the Government to utilize scarce resources very carefully so that maximum dividends are obtained. Due to the economy measures in place many organizations have voluntarily reduced their budget, and many have not asked for additional budgets. In this backdrop of austerity, in the 2019-20 budget, the ‘social security and poverty alleviation budget’ has been almost doubled by the Prime Minister, which is as a very bold and sagacious policy.

This is a significant step towards achieving the goal of a truly welfare-oriented Pakistan and make optimal use of our resources for the benefit of the poor.

The details of the budget will be given in the Budget Speech by the honourable Adviser to the PM on Finance.

The purpose of today’s Press Conference is to apprise about some ‘Ehsaas’ specific social protection related policy measures.

There are three specific groups that a social protection policy has to cover: those that are extreme and chronically poor, those that risk shocks and further impoverishment, and the disabled.

The budget will be announcing important policies for the deserving disabled.

All disabled will be given free wheel chairs.  The deaf will be given free hearing aids. The sightless will be given free white canes.

Insaf cards

All NADRA registered disabled will get INSAF cards for free medical treatment of self and family who are deserving from Govt Hospitals; through this they will be able to avail treatment of up to 720,000 in registered hospitals.

Special instructions have been given by the Prime Minister to strictly implement the 2% percent disabled quota in all govt jobs.

The National Council for the Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons (NCRDP), CADD monitors the implementation of 2% quota in the Public sector. If the implementation is not ensured, the entities are bound to deposit the salary of the position not filled by a PWD.

The Supreme Court has directed all ministries to inform whether 2% quota has been implemented or not.  One percent quota is to be given for disabled employees in Govt.

Accommodation

Two percent quota is to be given for disabled in Naya Pakistan housing scheme.

To avail of the above concessions all Government Hospitals are being instructed to issue disability certificates as per United Nations Definitions.

Those in possession of the UN definition certificates will be eligible for the concessions in a totally transparent manner.

The Disability Legislation in line with UN Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities has been tabled by the Ministry of Human Rights at Parliament at the Federal Level.

The Ministry of Planning and Development Reforms has issued the directives that no PC-1 Shall be approved, until it is not disability friendly.

Benefits for the unemployed in the budget

Interest free loans.

Every month eighty thousand deserving poor will be given interest free loans.

Small asset transfers to enable the unemployed to start earning incomes on their own like, sewing machines, cattle, retail shop provisions.

Benefits for poor students

Under graduate scholarship scheme covering tuition fee,

Hostel fee to enable unemployed to improve their qualifications/skills

Girls Vouchers Scheme (Second Chance).

Girls leave school due to various social and economic compulsions. They will get a second chance to get educated.

Lagging districts Incentives

Special incentives in lagging districts to encourage parents to send their children to schools.

Benefits for the extreme poor 

Kifalat Programme: 6 million women identified transparently through the ongoing Socio Economic Registry Survey will get stipends in their savings accounts and their access to cell phones will be increased

500 women kifalat centers will provide online access to free courses to poor women and their children. They will also have access to free school lessons, free IT courses, free adult education and certificate courses in stitching, kitchen gardening, electrician and plumbing courses.

A TV program will facilitate the use of these services

For the homeless

• PANAH GAS for the homeless in every major city

Loans for the poor to build homes. 

For the poor who fall sick

10 million families will get insaf card for treatment by the end of the year

For those who risk facing economic shocks

To provide help to those who do no have Insaaf cards and are struck by sudden medical conditions a system of ‘Tahfuz’ is being introduced to get assistance within 48 hrs. It will cover illness, court cases, accidents etc.

Benefits for the elderly

The pension of the elderly given by EOBI has been enhanced from Rs. 5050 to Rs. 6500.

The work to build ‘Ehsaas homes’ for the elderly homeless has begun.

Orphanages

 New Policy to improve the status of orphanages and increasing their number as per requirement.

Benefits for laborers

Registration for daily wage earners and domestic workers as a first step towards providing them cover of Employees old age benefits and Employees Social Security Institutions entailing pension and health treatment.

Benefits for overseas Pakistanis

 For overseas Pakistani workers the number of Community Welfare attaches is being increased.  Those overseas workers who have not been able to visit their families in 7 years, subsidized tickets will be provided.

 A special Programme to increase their awareness about their rights is a part of the budget.

For the marginalized

 An existing dormant organization is being revitalized to safeguard interests of the most marginalized—poor seasonal workers, bonded labour, street children, transgender

• Share of the poor will be kept in govt procurement, development schemes of katchi abadies and shikar permit fee.

• New policy for the landless farmers (Harris)

• The government will launch a new ration scheme for deserving poor for which cards will be allocated transparently.

These cards will also be used to secure special nutritious fortified food for infants less than two years of age and vulnerable pregnant and lactating women to avoid stunting.

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