With special instructions of the prime minister, the Ehsaas Emergency Cash payments were started countrywide on April 9 to financially aid more than 12 million deserving families whose incomes are adversely affected by the coronavirus lockdowns. Since the Ehsaas cash distribution began, as many as 1.098 million families all over the country have withdrawn Rs 12,000 each that cumulatively sums up to Rs 13.18 billion. Out of the planned 17,000 biometrically enabled Ehsaas cash distribution points, 7,317 have been opened countrywide with special protective measures for COVID-19 to facilitate speedy cash payments to those in need. Further, to ensure wellness and safety of recipients coming to collect cash handouts, Ehsaas has set out special protocols to safeguard corona preventive measures through Ehsaas Emergency Cash distribution including social distancing, sanitization and hand washing. The number of cash distribution centres and counters is being increased to prevent overcrowding of beneficiaries.Prime Minister’s Special Assistant Dr Sania Nishtar said, “Since the Ehsaas Emergency Cash operations began nationwide on Thursday, Ehsaas has witnessed long queues in some places but in majority of cases, things are orderly and Rs 12,000 is being given to hundreds of thousands of people in just two days.”According to details, overall cash distributions are running smooth across the country except for a few cases. However, 40 Ehsaas Emergency Cash retailers have been arrested over swindling beneficiaries in different ways in some parts of the country, particularly Sindh, southern Punjab and KP. Taking strict action on the complaints of beneficiaries lodged through around 34 FIRs, fraudster device operators were arrested by the police and sent to lockups for fraudulently deducting Rs 500 to Rs 1,000 from every recipient for processing their payment.