ISLAMABAD – National Database & Registration Authority (NADRA) Tuesday said it was ready to open its offices countrywide to facilitate the applicants of Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme but only with the approval of the federal government.
Many applicants of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Ehsaas Programme have been protesting for the past few days because they have been unable to get their thumb impressions verified due to closure of NADRA offices throughout the country.
The verification of thumb impressions is a prerequisite to get the cash assistance being offered by the federal government to the low-income class affected due to outbreak of COVID-19. The workers of Ehsaas Programme have turned down the cash relief requests of those applicants whose thumb impressions could not be verified through their own system and they have been asked to contact NADRA for this purpose.
A spokesman of NADRA told The Nation that the authority was ready to open its offices but only with the approval of the federal government. As a first step, we will open our mega centre, located in Islamabad’s Blue Area, today (Wednesday) to facilitate the applicants and to check that all necessary precautionary measures to avoid spread of deadly virus are in place, he added.
Last month, NADRA had closed its offices countrywide fearing that its registration centres who usually face huge influx of citizens could become a potential source of the spread of disease.
Last week, Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation Dr Sania Nishtar had requested the registration authority to open its offices to facilitate the government for the disbursement of relief cash. However, NADRA had argued that the federal government should direct it do so at a time when there was an outbreak of pandemic in the country.
On this, Ms Nishtar took the matter to the Cabinet and later decided that National Command and Operations Centre (NCOC) should decide the matter. According to an official of the Ministry of Interior, a meeting that was held at NCOC on Tuesday discussed the matter and decided that NADRA offices should be opened. He added that a formal notification in this regard has to be issued yet