Ehsas Program

By: Farzana Chaudhary

 

Since the day of the creation of Pakistan, we are facing a lot of economic and social issues. The root cause of these issues is poverty. According to a survey report (2011), 12.4% of Pakistanis live below the poverty line. From the last 73 years of independence, different governments in their ruling time have made a lot of policies to finish poverty. The history of Pakistan is mounting with such kind of schemes. Some of them are Poverty Reduction Strategy (2001) for which Musharaf government took a considerable amount of loans from the IMF. This was followed by PPP government which came up with Benazir Income Support Program (July 2008) and now we have “Ehsas program” by PTI government.

PM Imran Khan launched Ehsas Program on March 27, 2019. The sole purpose of launching this program is to reduce inequality, poverty eradication, invest in people, and lift lagging districts. Ehsas is basically about the establishment of a welfare state where there will be no destitution, unemployment, and illiteracy.  .

But some hard realities show that Ehsas program couldn’t hit the 100% rate success as PTI Government estimated it. There are several reasons for it. Like poor policy formation, lack of management strategies, corruption, and failure in reaching actual beneficiaries.

Despite all this, Ehsas Program is now in its active form to tackle widespread epidemic disease (COVID-19).In this respect, Imran khan launched Ehsas Cash Program and Ehsas Ration Program. These programs are introduced in the context of economic hardships being experienced by the poor sector due to ongoing Corona Virus crisis.  The first initiative of its kind in the country which is providing open public access to the interactive portal in every district of Pakistan as per data demonstration. According to Dr. Sania Nishtar, the government of PAKISTAN’S RS 150 billion social protection plan will help 12 million families downtrodden by COVID 19 attacks to save them from impending hunger. Besides, EHSAS RASHAN PORTAL is a donor-beneficiary linking system for ration distribution enabling the private sector to reach directly to vulnerable.

Now, if we throw light on pros and cons of Ehsas Program from the beginning of its establishment to present, we conclude that unluckily it’s like all other programs in the history of Pakistan which has not much paved its way to success except current scenario in which its role is appreciable but again like two sides of coin these new programs under the umbrella of Ehsas Program where they are helping poor, but also giving birth to novel issues like complete ignorance towards the dire need of social distancing on such public places which results in the spread of fatal Corona Virus.

Moreover, our Nadra system failed to provide exact data of needy people. Most of the population doesn’t have access to social media, which makes them unable to know about such a program. People have little knowledge about registering for these schemes. Other than the above issues it has caused a haphazard in citizens when they reach such kind of helping centers as we have seen a recent death incident of Nazira Bibi at Multan Ehsas Cash helping center. Besides, the government is investing an immense amount in this program. It will definitely affect our economy which is already suffering from persistent lockdown, even though our government has not come up yet with any plan to cope up with such an economic downfall.

So it has been proven by the above discussion that the Ehsas Program is conceived for the right reasons if executed with the best management strategies has the potential to impact the lives of millions of citizens. Only consistency and best policies to run such programs are needed. So if we want our country on a route towards development, we first have to make our economy strong by strengthening our industrial sector and secondly exporting our goods. In return, it will increase the opportunities for employment. Other than investing trillions into such type of schemes as we already have IBPS working from years in which government has invested 600billion of taxpayer money, still, evidence suggests that there were only marginal improvements. Strategies of China gave the finest example in investing money into different sectors rather than making such types of programs.

More can be written to support the above contention. As now it’s time to wrap up discussion by suggesting that Ehsas type schemes although work but our policymakers should abide by such policies that can work in the long run. Besides rather than making new schemes, we should strengthen the old ones and endow money in establishing new industries to bring mass development. So instead of imaginary schemes, our government should come up with 5 to 10 years of progress programs.