Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety, Dr. Sania Nishtar Tuesday briefed the Finance Minister about working of flagship Ehsaas Emergency Cash Program regarding direct cash transfers to under-privileged women amid COVID-19 pandemic. During a call on meeting with the Finance Minister, Ms Nishtar who is also Chairperson of BISP, informed the minister that at present the program provided Rs12,000 each to more than 15 million deserving families. Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenue Dr. Waqar Masood and Secretary Finance Division also participated in the meeting. The SAPM also outlined the provision of subsidies for Ehsaas beneficiaries through a chain of Utility Stores outlets across Pakistan and local grocery stores. The underlying rationale is to support the under-privileged and marginalized households through targeted subsidization policy with focus on poverty reduction and women empowerment. The Finance Minister commended Ehsaas program as one of the largest social protection programs in the world which is critically acclaimed by the development partners including International Monetary Fund (IMF), World Bank (WB) and Asian Development Bank (ADB). Pakistan’s landmark Ehsaas Emergency Cash program has played a significant role in mitigating the economic hardships of the marginalized groups of the society. The Finance Minister affirmed support and facilitation to Ehsaas program and urged to replace untargeted subsidies with targeted ones to make it more sustainable in the long run.