Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection Dr Sania Nishtar Monday said that the distribution of cash assistance among deserving families under Ehsaas Emergency Programme was continuing, where more than 1.77 million needy families have been given financial assistance in a transparent way. Talking to state-run Pakistan Television programme, she said the government was strictly implementing the policy of merit and transparency in providing financial assistance to the deserving families under the Ehsaas Programme. Dr Sania said the government had successfully launched the biggest-ever financial assistance programme for deserving people in history of the country, as its fruits would reach to poor people all over the country. She said the government was leaving no stone unturned in combating the COVID-19 pandemic, adding that Prime Minister Imran Khan is highly concerned with the poor and daily wagers of the country. Pakistan is in dire need of financial assistance to cope with coronavirus outbreak, she said, adding that the government has announced excellent relief packages however more assistance is required to facilitate the people living below the poverty line. Referring to overwhelming response of the public, she said the programme received welcoming response and receiving million of SMSs. She said the deserving families have been given cash assistance of 12,000 rupees, adding that the rest of families who have some issues of CNIC or thumb will receive the assistance soon after verification of the NADRA. She said from next two days the NADRA office would hopefully to start working and the problems related to these issues would b readdressed soon. Explaining the criteria, Dr Sania Nishtar said the programme was not aimed at those people who were receiving regular salary from any government or private job. She said income of a person was determined on transparent basis from data about them. For example, people owning motor cars and other valuable assets were not considered eligible for this financial assistance. She clarified that motorbike owners as well as passport holders were eligible to apply for this programme. The Special Assistant to PM said a new method was being devised for people whose finger prints were not matching due to injuries or other issues. She said strict action would be taken against persons who used fingerprints of others to extract money. Dr Sania Nishtar said all Pakistanis were eligible for this programme, including minorities. This programme does not discriminate against any minority of the country. Dr Sania Nishtar said Prime Minister Imran Khan during the next week would also inaugurate ration programme of Ehsaas. The ration will be distributed after scrutiny of eligible persons. She said the systems of NADRA and Ehsaas would be utilized to determine eligibility.