The Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) of the cabinet on Friday approved the Rs. 106.1 billion Ehsaas Targeted Commodity Subsidy Program (ETCSP).
The ECC meeting presided over by Minister for Economic Affairs Omar Ayub Khan discussed the summary titled “Launch of the Ehsaas Targeted Commodity Subsidy Program (ETCSP)” presented by the Poverty Alleviation & Social Safety (PASS) Division and approved it after due deliberations.
The total amount of this program is Rs. 106.102 billion for the period of 1st January to 30th June 2022, which includes a subsidy for beneficiaries, incentives for kiryana stores, SMS charges for telecom operators, mobilization charges, National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) costs, and other operational expenditures.
It was highlighted that in pursuance of the cabinet decisions, extensive efforts were undertaken including field visits, market surveys, and meetings with local shop owners/Tajir associations in dozens of cities across the country.
In addition, wide-ranging consultations were held with relevant provincial and federal stakeholders. Resultantly, the program design document has been amended to ensure compliance with the cabinet decisions and address the concerns of stakeholders. Further, the PASS Division and National Bank of Pakistan have also started mobilization efforts for beneficiaries and merchants’ registration.
In order to implement this program, PASS Division will enter into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with NBP for this purpose and will reimburse all relevant costs incurred by NBP on a monthly basis subject to an independent audit and authorization by the program steering committee.
PASS Division will hire one of the top accounting firms as an external auditor to review all transactions (subsidy and vendor payments) processed on monthly basis; The three items covered under the program are essential commodities with inelastic demand, therefore, adoption of local prices will be allowed for the disbursement of the fixed per unit subsidy.
According to the Kiryana Incentive Scheme, target kiryana stores are located in communities with an average monthly income of less than Rs. 30,000 per family. Hence, 8 percent of subsidy value as an incentive for kiryana stores (Rs. 12 per transaction, assuming an average transaction value of Rs. 500) will be allowed.
Source: Pro Pakistani