PM launches biggest ever social protection program
Prime Minister Imran Khan Wednesday launched a historic and biggest ever Social Protection Program in Peshawar to provide maximum relief to the poor and make Pakistan a true Islamic welfare state like Riyasat-e-Madina.
He said that with the Punjab government spending Rs. 320 billion on a health insurance programme, the facility of health insurance will be available to every citizen of Punjab, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Kashmir.
The Prime Minister expressed these views while addressing the launching ceremony of the Micro Health Insurance Program under Kamyab Pakistan Program, distribution of cheques among Imams of Jamia Mosques under KP Govt’s financial assistance program, students under Ehsas Education Program and poor women under Kifalat Program here at Governor House.
Governor Khyber Pakthunkhwa, Shah Farman, Chief Minister Mahmood Khan, Federal Minister for Information, Chaudhry Fawad Hussain, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Security Dr Sania Nishtar, Provincial Ministers and lawmakers of KP Assembly besides beneficiaries were present.
He congratulated the KP Government for extending free health insurance to 100 percent population. Under the Kamyab Pakistan Program, micro health insurance would provide free medical services worth Rs one million annually to 7.5 million families in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
The Prime Minister said that health insurance program would also be implemented in Punjab from January 1, 2022 and the entire population of the province would be covered in three months. The government of Balochistan, Azad Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan also intended to launch the health insurance program.
“Free health insurance card is a great blessing for poor people and low income groups,” he said and added that the universal free health coverage in KP was unprecedented as such facilities were not available even in the developed countries.
Prime Minister Imran Khan also mentioned government’s historic Ehsas food subsidy package worth Rs 120 billion that would benefit over 20 million households.
Under the Ehsaas Ration Discount Program, he said that groceries will be provided to about 20 million families by covering 130 million people and giving them 30 percent discount on purchase of essential food items including wheat flour, ghee, pulses, adding about 53% of the country’s total population would be benefited.
Families with less than Rs 50,000 per month income are eligible for Ehsas Ration discount program.
The prime minister urged the elected representatives to visit their constituencies and inform people and owners of grocery stores about the benefits and procedures of the Ehas Ration Program’s registration.
PM said that another welfare program was being launched to benefit about around two million poor families, adding that interest free loans up to Rs 500,000 to each family, technical education and Rs 2.7 million for construction of house to live a prosperous and dignified life will be provided.
The prime minister said that 6.3 million scholarships with allocation of Rs 47 billion were being given to students on merit basis, adding that data of the students and scholarships were being compiled by the Prime Minister’s Office so that no deserving student could be deprived of the facility.
The Prime Minister said that PTI had started its political journey with a clear goal to make Pakistan a true Islamic welfare state as envisioned by our forefathers in Objective Resolution.
He said when PTI came into power in 2013 in Khyber Pakthunkhwa, welfare oriented programs like Health Insurance Project were prioritized to benefit poor people and low income strata.
The development projects, reforms initiatives and dedicated party leadership have resulted into unprecedented two-third majority of PTI in 2018 election in the province. Referring to a UNDP report, the prime minister said significant reduction of poverty has been witnessed in Khyber Pakthunkhwa during 2013-18 owing to the PTI Govt’s prudent policies.
He said PTI Government has been succeeded in improving governance, restoring law and order situation and boosted morale of police force that was on the forefront in war against terror in 2013 in KP. Despite the coalition government during 2013-18 in KP, he said 30 per cent health insurance have been provided to people.
Appreciating the performance of NCOC, the prime minister said the country had effectively tackled corona virus pandemic that created havoc in world including India, adding the pandemic have severally affected supply food chain in world and regional countries that caused inflation, price hike and increased prices of petroleum, gas and food commodities in Pakistan.
He said anti corona policies of the government had saved people from hunger, starvation and many precious lives besides averting the downfall of economy.
He said that heavy loans borrowed by previous governments have overburdened the country’s economy and added the major chunk of revenue generated by the government was being spent to pay interests on those loans.
He said that 10 new dams would be constructed in next 10 years to address the problem of water scarcity and bolster food production. He said there were about 80,000 dams including 5,000 big dams in China.
He said that the population of Pakistan was increasing and construction of new dams was vital to address water shortage and irrigate infertile lands to meet the food demands.
The prime minister said billion tree project was a landmark achievement of PTI Government and appreciated KP Govt for planting billions of trees. He said reforms in industries are being introduced to bolster exports.
Earlier, two videos prepared by Ministry of Information and Broadcasting and Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Division about the Prime Minister’s Ehsas Ration Program were also screened to inform audience about the salient features and registration procedures.