ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection, Dr. Sania Nishtar Wednesday convened a meeting of the steering committee to review the preparations of the forthcoming Ehsaas Targeted Subsidies programme which would be implemented by December 2021. The steering committee for the programme has been constituted on the instructions of the Prime Minister. The Committee has been principally mandated to oversee the execution of the targeted commodity subsidies programme. Under Ehsaas, commodity subsidies will solely be administered through Ehsaas database. These targeted subsidies will be given on selected essential commodities. As a part of the programme preparations, Ehsaas has completed integration of its IT systems with those of Utility Stores Corporation (USC) for identification of Ehsaas beneficiaries and provision of targeted subsidies on selected commodities. Also, collaborative work is underway with NBP to build digital ecosystem for serving beneficiaries locally through a network of private run, retail grocery stores. With Dr. Sania in chair, Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Deputy Governor SBP, President National Bank of Pakistan (NBP), Secretary Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division, Secretary BISP and Managing Director Utility Stores Corporation joined the steering committee meeting. They were also joined by senior officials and representatives from Finance Division, Industries and Production Division and Pakistan Revenue Automation Limited. Opening the meeting, Dr. Nishtar welcomed members and gave snapshot of the said programme along with role of the steering committee. It was followed by progress update presentations by executing partners; USC and NBP. “Coming under the umbrella of Ehsaas, Targeted Commodity Subsidy programme will be executed through collaboration with Utility stores and NBP. Based on policy articulated by the Ministry of Finance, and regulatory support by SBP, the Government will enable Ehsaas beneficiaries being identified through new Ehsaas survey to get subsidized rates.” The steering committee will oversee the targeting under the programme through Ehsaas, financing through Finance Division, execution through Utility Stores Corporation and National Bank, and regulatory framework by SBP. The Committee will also identify risks and provide policy guidance, review and monitor progress, approve the delivery workplans prepared by executing agencies, ensure coordination across executing agencies, assist executing agencies in linkages development and networking, and to support communication of project progress and outcomes to the Prime Minister. The members of the committee will meet every week to oversee the programme progress.