Special Assistant to PM on Social Security and Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishter said on Saturday that a new ration card scheme would be started soon to provide nutritious food to one million deserving persons under Ehsaas Programme.Talking to reporters, she said that special nutritious fortified food would be ensured for the infants less than two years of age and vulnerable pregnant and lactating women to avoid stunting. Under the Ahsas Programme, she said that 80,000 deserving people would be given interest free loans, besides providing them sewing machines, cattle, retail shop provisions to start own business.She said the social security and poverty alleviation budget was being doubled by the government. “This is a significant step towards achieving the goal of a truly welfare oriented Pakistan and make the optimal use of resources for the benefit of the poor. As many as 6 million women identified transparently through the ongoing Socio Economic Registry Survey will get stipends in their saving accounts and their access to cell phones will be increased. 500 Kifalat Centres will provide online access to free courses to poor women and their children. They will have also access to free school lessons, free IT courses, free adult education and certificate courses in stitching, kitchen gardening, electrician and plumbing courses. The government has decided to provide free wheelchairs to all disabled persons, provide free hearing aids to the deaf, free white canes to blind under Ehsaas Programme,” she said. “The National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) registered disabled persons. They will be provided Insaf cards for free treatment for themselves and their family members up to Rs 720,000 from registered hospitals,” she said, adding that two percent disabled quota had been reserved in all government jobs.“National Council for the Rehabilitation of Disabled Persons (NCRDP) monitors the implementation of 2 percent quota in the public sector. If implementation is not ensured, the entities are bound to deposit the salary of the vacant posts. The Supreme Court of Pakistan has already directed all the ministries to inform whether 2 percent quota has been implemented or not,” she said. She said one percent quota was to be given for disabled in Naya Pakistan Housing Scheme. “Ministry of Planning and Development Reforms has directed officials to avoid approving disabled unfriendly PC-1 of any project,” she said.“Deserving students will be provided tuition fee, hostel fee under scholarship scheme being launched in collaboration with the Higher Education Commission (HEC),” she said. She said another scheme would be initiated under Ehsaas Programme to give a chance to dropped out girls to again start education. “Special incentives will be provided to parents of backward districts on sending their children to schools,” she said.“Panahgas (shelter homes) will be constructed in every major city for the homeless,” she said, adding that the poor would be provided loans for constructing their own homes. “As many as 10 million families will get Insaf cards by the year’s end for getting medical treatment. Tahafuz programme was being introduced to assist the people within 48 hours, who do not have Insaf cards due medical conditions. It will cover court cases including illness and accidents,” she said.She said the pensions for the elderly given by Employees Old Age Benefits Institutions (EOBI) had already been enhanced from Rs 5,050 o Rs 6,500. “Building Ehsaas homes for elderly homeless has begun. The number of orphanages are being increased and provided more facilities,” she said.She said the registration for daily waged earners and domestic workers would be started to provide them cover of EOBI and employees’ social security institutions entailing pension and health treatment.“The number of community welfare schemes is being increased for overseas Pakistani workers. Subsidized tickets will be provided to those overseas Pakistani workers, who do not visit home in the last seven years,” she said.“An existing organisation is being revitalised to safeguard interests of the mist marginalised poor seasonal workers, bonded labour, street children and transgender community members,” she said.