Imran Khan
Imran Khan Image Credit: AP

  • Pakistan PM released poverty eradication document
  • The report has four main pillars
  • People are asking for action and implementation

Dubai: Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan has launched a poverty reduction programme called "Ehsaas" and tweeted an elaborate policy document stating the initiative’s action plan.

The PKR80 billion (Dh2.07 billion) programme was launched on March 27 with the aim to reduce extreme poverty in the country.

During the announcement, it was stated that Islamabad would allocate an additional amount of PKR 80 billion in the country’s social protection spending in poverty-stricken areas from the current year; this would be raised to PKR120billion (Dh3.11 billion) in 2021, Pakistani media reported.

Welfare state

The promises the premier has made through the initiative go back to his plans, when he was first elected, to transform Pakistan into a welfare state.

In his first official address to the public as Prime Minister, Khan had said he aims to make Pakistan “a real welfare state” by concentrating on the homeless, marginalised children, widows and disabled.

Eight months after assuming office, Khan took to Twitter on Monday to provide a link to a wide-ranging policy document and wrote: “I am pleased to release my policy statement on #Ehsaas, my priority poverty reduction programme with its 4 focus areas and 115 policy actions to reduce inequality, invest in people, and uplift lagging districts…”

The report encompasses four main pillars of governance: work for equality, human capital development, jobs and better livelihood.

There are 115 policies stated under those pillars.

One of the issues Khan is aiming to focus on is “elite capture”.

Elite capture

Elite capture is a form of corruption that plays in favour of a certain socio-economic group in a state, but proves to be greatly unfavourable to the masses.

Khan also announced the establishment of a new Ministry of Social Protection/Poverty Alleviation to focus on the current fragmentation.

Poverty has been an major issue in Pakistan and hopes of improvement due to Khan’s election have been high.

So far, Khan’s tweet has received over 1,000 retweets and over 5,400 likes.

Twitter user @SumairaJajja appreciated the effort: “Just read prime minister’s policy statement on #Ehsaas. some excellent initiatives @ImranKhanPTI addressing elite capture and making the government system work to create equality; safety nets for disadvantaged segments of population; jobs and livelihoods; human capital development.”

Replying to Khan’s post, user Taufiq Khan @zztaufiq had some suggestions: “IK [Imran khan], if you want to strong the economy, you must take hard steps, you must impose the rule that each outlet, shop, clinic whatever business runs in the country must be registered and have paid licence yearly, with finance department. We can collect big revenue in this regard.”

Whereas, tweep @pharmauth127 asked for action: “Great, but swift action and sweeping implementation required.”

User Tanvir Hussain @tanvir_hassain had a similar outlook: “Without taking tangible steps for poverty alleviation, all the policies are not more than papers in dustbin. There is no need of policies, policies are already more than enough. The real need is to implement them in true spirit. @ImranKhanPTI #Ehsaas”