Kafalat programme’s beneficiaries can get amount from ATMs without help of agents

ISLAMABAD: The women beneficiaries of Kafalat programme being run under Ehsaas can access banks and take money out from ATMs without becoming hostage to the corrupt agent and touts who tend to deduct money.
According to an official source, the payments of July to December for the Kafalat program of Ehsaas have been started in phases for the seven million beneficiaries across the country.
The Phase-I has commenced where payments would start for 4.3 million women beneficiaries. Each beneficiary will be paid Rs 12,000 covering the period July 2020 to December 2020. Combined payment for six months is being made.
The payments to the additional beneficiaries will be made by the December 2020 onwards and the process will be completed in the current fiscal year.
Ehsaas Kafalat beneficiaries, from next year onwards, will have the option of either drawing their money or saving money into digital wallets. For the first time, the poorest women in Pakistan will have the option to save their payments.
As part of an efficient digital system for Kafalat, payments will also be possible at point of sales at retail points through machines which authenticate biometrically.
Alongside, in the interest of transparency and integrity, a number of innovative reforms have recently been introduced including device restrictions, new protocols for user authentication, systems based geo-tagging and fencing disbursement timing block, and system generated electronic printed receipts for fund withdrawal so that beneficiaries can see the exact amount of funds that have been transferred in their accounts, and are empowered.
Further, aiming to protect the payment system and empower Kafalat recipients, the partnering banks have been asked to make sure that the quality of biometric machines at retailer touch points is in accordance with international standards.
Other significant improvements to safeguard transparent flow of Kafalat funds include retailers’ trainings, complaints resolution mechanism, real time reporting of transactions and dashboards have been created for alerts and for information sharing about how and where the money is being disbursed.
According to Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar, who is heading this program, most of the digitally and financially excluded segments in Pakistan are destitute women.
Ehsaas Kafalat ensures financial and digital inclusion of deserving women across the country. Changing lives of millions of women, ‘Ehsaas One Woman One Account Initiative’ will help the marginalized people plan for everything from long-term goals to unexpected emergencies, she observed. - APP