Whilst welcoming Attorney General of Pakistan’s recent Covid-19 Audit report, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation Sania Nishtar has denied any rules’ violations or financial mismanagement in the disbursements made under Ehsaas Emergency Cash (EEC) Program to the deserving families soon after the breakout of the pandemic. Sania Nishtar clarified, in a statement that the audit observations relating to Ehsaas and BISP are largely of advisory and technical nature which are welcomed. Meanwhile, Ehsaas authorities, said the disbursements under the EEC were made as per the eligibility criteria approved by the federal cabinet. They explained that Ehsaas Emergency Cash has been highly rated globally as one of the best global practices. Despite its massive operations both in terms of coverage and fiscal quantum in a context of strict lockdowns, they pointed out that there are only ten audit observations related to Ehsaas. Giving a response to each of the observation, Ehsaas authorities maintained that there are no allegations from the Audit of mis-procurement, wasteful expenditure, overpayments, unauthorized retention, non production of records and corruption. Regarding non disbursement of Covid-19 cash transfers to 1.32 million enrolled/registered beneficiaries, the Ehsaas officials said that BISP enrolled a total of 16.9 million beneficiaries. Out of these, 14.8 million beneficiaries were disbursed an amount of Rs. 179.2 billion. 1.3 million Beneficiaries never came forward to collect their money despite extensive campaigns. “BISP also devised various policies including policies for non-BVS and Next Of Kin on emergent basis to ensure that the affected families receive their due financial assistance.”, they said adding that a report was also submitted to Audit, outlining findings of a study citing reasons for non-withdrawal and the difficulties experienced during the execution of the largest social protection program in the country’s history in the most difficult circumstances. About audit observation regarding cash transfers to government servants including pensioners, Ehsaas officials explained that government’s payrolls are not digitized. “The data of employees used in developing the observation, was taken by the audit at their own which was not earlier shared by Controller General of Accounts or any other agency with BISP.” “For the first time in the history of the country, BISP exited around 850,000 undeserving individuals from BISP’s lists under Ehsaas’ reform policy.” They said we have requested for data of autonomous agencies and pensioners repeatedly through written requests but have not received it so far. As regards cash transfers to those having filers’ status as per FBR record, the officials said this was not one of the exclusion criteria approved by the Cabinet for Ehsaas Emergency Cash. These individuals sought assistance from the state during lockdowns when their businesses were closed. This was the purpose of Ehsaas Cash to provide relief at a time of lockdowns. The officials further stated that not a single beneficiary having higher than approved Proxy Means Test (PMT ) threshold received payment.