Punjab Social Protection Authority (PSPA) is a body corporate, established through an Act 2015 of the provincial legislature for providing a comprehensive, efficient, effective and inclusive social protection system to the poor and vulnerable people in Punjab. PSPA has successfully designed and rolled out the Unconditional Cash Program for the Persons with Disabilities (PWDs). The lowest income people with disabilities are identified in the province on the basis of their PMT scores from NSER data. Under this initiative, around 67,000 persons with disabilities are currently drawing Rs. 1,500 a month (Rs. 4,500 quarterly) who are able to work and Rs. 2,000 a month (Rs. 6,000 quarterly) who are unable to work.
In accordance with the Prime Minister’s vision of EHSAAS programs, Punjab Social Protection Authority has been entrusted with the responsibility to roll out multiple interventions for social protection of the vulnerable groups in Punjab. Government of the Punjab is now launching Ehsaas-Punjab built on the model of the national Ehsaas program. It will aim to expand Human Development and Social Protection in Punjab drastically so that poverty eradication, economic empowerment of women and better health and education outcomes could be achieved. Ehsaas-Punjab will be spearheaded by the Punjab Social Protection Authority (PSPA). It will include current PSPA’s programs as well as new programs worth over Rs. 15 billion, aimed at filling many coverage gaps in social protection.
So far PSPA has designed eight interventions for various vulnerable and marginalized communities as summarized below:
1. Ba-himmat Buzurg Program: In Punjab, there is little financial support available for elderly people through the public sector beyond the formal sector employees. Punjab Social Protection Authority will bridge this gap by launching Ba-himmat Buzurg Program which will provide dignified social pension for elderly persons above the age of 65 in Punjab. These elderly people will spread key social messages in their respective villages. Rs. 3 billion are being allocated for this program which will benefit 125,000 people, who are not in receipt of other social assistance programs. Rs. 2,000 per month will be given to the beneficiaries having poverty score below 20. read more.......
2. Hamqadam Program: Persons with Disabilities (PWDs) are vulnerable to multiple financial and non-financial shocks and they need the state’s assistance to lead a happy life. Realizing this need, a program with the name “Hamqadam” is being launched with the cost of Rs. 3.5 billon. This program will benefit about 200,000 poor people with disabilities in Punjab upto PMT score of 30. A revolving fund of Rs. 300 million will be established to provide income-generation opportunities to these people through microcredit (Rs. 50,000 per beneficiary) and asset transfer.
3. Sila-e-Funn Program: A program for the financial assistance of those elderly and needy artists, writers, poets and media persons of the Punjab who have made a notable contribution in their field such as Film, T.V, Literature, Poetry, Journalism, Theatre, Music, Painting, etc. will be started. Rs 5,000 per month will be provided to those artists with monthly income below Rs. 15,000. Rs. 100 million are proposed for the FY 2019-20. read more.....
4. Masawaat Program for Transgender Persons’ Welfare: PSPA has the honor of drafting Pakistan’s first Transgender Persons’ Welfare Policy. Under this policy, Masawaat program will be initiated with an outlay of Rs. 200 million, comprising conditional cash transfers for skill building, unconditional cash transfers for elderly transgender persons and micro credit for promoting entrepreneurship among transgender persons will be started.
5. Nai Zindagi Program for Acid Victims Program: With the help of Rs. 100 million, the victims of the heinous crime of throwing acid will be financially assisted and fully rehabilitated at the government’s expense, including the skin grafting treatment, followed by skill-building and interest-free loans for livelihood support.
6. Sarparast Program for Poor Widows & Orphans: With an initial outlay of Rs 2 billion for financial year 2019-20, Sarparast program for assisting poor widows and orphans will be a key feature of Punjab’s Ehsas program. The poor widows, who have not remarried and who meet poverty score-based eligibility criteria will be assisted through this program with a monthly stipend of Rs. 2000 a month with top up programs of easy credit and asset transfer.
7. Khiraj-ush-Shuhada Program: Widows and orphans of those civilians who have been martyred in a terrorist attacks will be assisted under this program. Minimum wage to survivors of these martyrs will be paid until their eldest child turns 21. Rs. 300 million are allocated for this purpose.
8. Panagah Program for the Homeless: Shelters for the homeless people in Lahore has been a successful program and is appreciated by the low-income segments. Under Ehsaas-Punjab, these shelters will be built throughout the Punjab.