Unemployment and poverty have been some of the major issues in Pakistan however, these issues have become much more severe due to the skyrocketing inflation and post-pandemic economic crisis. Thus, to provide some relief to citizens, especially the unemployed and marginalized people, the government of Pakistan has launched the Ehsas Kafalat Program under Ehsaas Program.
The aim of this program is to provide financial aid to the poorest and most vulnerable part of the society so they could arrange for their bread and butter. Not only do the qualified citizens get monetary value but also health insurance coverage for free. To learn more about the eligibility criteria, application procedure, and benefits one may receive on getting eligible, keep reading the article!
Ehsas Kafalat Program Eligibility Criteria
This Kafalat Program is open for all Pakistani households (whether they live in Punjab, KPK, Balochistan, Sindh, or GB) that are either unemployed or earning less than PKR 25000 per month. According to this, a stipend of PKR 12000 will be given to every deserving household in the form of three-month installments.
Recently, the payment has been increased from PKR12000 to PKR 14000 (PKR2000 is added following the Sasta Petrol, Sasta Diesel Scheme). Even though this ehsas program aims to support every deserving household, it mainly prioritizes women who are either self-sufficient or only earners of their families. Likewise, widowed, single, and divorced women are also eligible for the program. However, the amount of cash grants may vary based on their circumstances.
For example, women who are single, widowed, or divorced with no children will get a monthly stipend of around PKR 1000 whereas women who either have children or are pregnant may get a monthly stipend of PKR 3000. In addition to this, all those families can also apply for the kafalat program that was receiving financial assistance under the BISP (Benazir Income Support Program) but has been disqualified recently by new NADRA surveys.
Asides from this, all the zakat recipients and tax filers are eligible for the kafalat program. However, applicants must not own a property or assets of more than PKR 50,000 value to be eligible for financial assistance under the ehsas kafalat program.
In addition to having a valid CNIC, applicants must be registered with NADRA and willing to provide proof of their monthly expenditures and income. Based on this information, applicants are categorized as poor, extremely poor, very poor, or destitute. Households that are considered destitute will get the highest cash grant.
People who are taxpayers, government employees or their spouses, pensioners, and car owners are not eligible for the kafalat program funding. Also, people who have a long travel history can’t apply for the kafalat program. Likewise, only one person in the couple (either husband or wife) is eligible for cash value from the kafalat program.
To check your eligibility, all you need to do is to visit the official portal and enter your CNIC number in the corresponding section. In no time, the website will notify you whether you are eligible or not.
Besides, you can also check your eligibility by sending your CNIC to 8171. In a couple of days, you’ll receive a message from 8171, notifying you about your eligibility and payment status. However, before applying for the program, make sure your CNIC is not expired otherwise you’ll fail the biometric verification process.
The entire application procedure is very easy and straightforward since you just need to follow the given steps;
Check The Eligibility
Visit the link; https://ehsaastracking.pass.gov.pk/ and the official portal will open up on your screens. Enter the corresponding details about your CNIC and the website will tell you about your eligibility status.
If you apply for the kafalat program via SMS, you may receive four types of replies as follows;
Register Yourself for Ehsaas Kafalat Program
If the website states that you are eligible for the kafalat program, the next step is to enroll yourself through one of the several registration centers located in different cities. To find the exact location of the registration center, you may open the official website, write the district name, and press the search button.
The list of all the registration centers in your district will be shown to you. Currently, around 533 registration centers for kafalat programs are located in different districts of Pakistan which means almost all the big and small cities of Pakistan have at least one registration center at this moment.
Undergo a Household Survey
Once you’re done checking your credibility and registering yourself for the kafalat program, a team will visit your residential location for a household survey. During the survey, the team will ask different questions to every member of the family regarding their labor activity and financial status. The purpose of this survey is to get sure about the credibility of provided information and certainty of your eligibility.
Receive Your Payment
If everything goes well and the survey team declares you deserving, you’ll receive a confirmation message from 8171 stating that the payment has been transferred to your account and you can withdraw it from any nearby biometric ATM.
Since the program was first implemented in KPK, in KP, and nearby areas like AJK and GB, people can withdraw their payments by biometric ATMs of Bank Alfalah and campsites of retail shops. However, in other provinces and federal capitals, beneficiaries can withdraw their payment only from the biometric ATMs of Bank Al-Habib.
How to check your ehsas kafalat balance?
Checking the balance in your ehsas kafalat bank account is quite easy since all you need to do is to follow the given steps;
However, if you are not able to check your balance for any odd reason, you may visit any financial institution, participating bank, or registration center for assistance.
Other benefits of registering under the ehsas kafalat program
1 – Become eligible for other social welfare initiatives
In addition to receiving a monthly stipend and health insurance coverage, beneficiaries of the kafalat program are also the first ones to receive assistance via other governmental projects launched during major crises. For example, programs like ehsas Rashan Program and the ehsas emergency loan were launched during the days of COVID-19 to provide low-interest loans and groceries at subsidized rates.
All the beneficiaries who were already enrolled in the kafalat program become eligible and automatically enrolled in those programs too. Besides Rashan and emergency loan programs, beneficiaries of kafalat programs are also eligible for several other public welfare initiatives such as Waseela-e-taleem, Waseela-e-rozgar, interest-free loans, etc.
2 – Women empowerment
It won’t be wrong to say that the primary focus of this Kafalat program is women as it opens more career opportunities for them by equipping them with bank accounts and smartphones. By getting registered in the ehsas kafalat program, women from poor or low-income households are becoming capable of opening bank accounts with no deposit restrictions.
The Kafalat program is empowering women in many other ways as well such as by incentivizing them to pursue their studies, opening more employment opportunities, strengthening their livelihoods, and improving the quality of their healthcare and accessibility.
3 – Low-interest loans
In addition to providing financial assistance to the beneficiaries, the program is also making it possible for small business owners to get loans at the lowest interest rates (up to 6%). With this initiative, you may get a loan of a maximum of PKR 200,000 with a five-year repayment plan.
However, the loans are given only to those small businesses which have been greatly affected by COVID-19 and are struggling to survive. To be eligible for the easy loan, the business must have fewer than fifty employees. While applying for the loan under the kafalat program, applicants must submit supporting documents including proof of business, proof of ownership, and proof of limited annual revenue.
Besides, this ehsas program is also facilitating disabled people since special desks have been formed for them at almost every registration center. From the help desk, disabled people can get their disability certificate, special disability CNIC, and free & quick enrollment to all ehsas programs.