Sunday, September 19, 2021

Ehsaas Rehribaan: Cart financing window opens in Islamabad


ISLAMABAD:  A cart financing window has been opened under Ehsaas Rehribaan initiative in Islamabad with Senator Dr. Sania Nishtar, SAPM, making the visit to site in G-11 Markaz, Islamabad on Thursday.

Dr Sania Nishtar, Special Assistant of the Prime Minister of Pakistan on Poverty Alleviation and Social Protection, interacted with street vendors and officials of microfinance banks and reviewed the ongoing street vending interventions under the initiative.

“With the successful launch of the Ehsaas Rehribaan project in G-11 and G-10 commercial areas of Islamabad, government is aiming for the methodical and phased scale-up of the initiative”, stated Dr. Sania.

At present, street vendors in G-11 and G-10 areas are getting regularized through the acquisition of pre-approved design carts either on their own account or through microfinance loans.

Later on, the initiative will be expanded to the entire capital. To-date, over 50 street vendors of G-11 have switched to modular and eco-friendly carts under Ehsaas.

Remaining 28 vendors, who cannot afford cart purchase, are now been linked with microfinance banks for availing cart financing facility.

Representatives of three micro finance banks, namely U- Microfinance Bank, Apna Microfinance Bank and Mobilink Microfinance Bank were also present at the site.

They briefed Dr. Sania about various microfinancing facilities available for vendors under Ehsaas Rehribaan initiative. The microfinance structure of cart financing for street vendors was also presented.

“Ehsaas recognizes cart financing as a potential tool for addressing financial needs of the vendors. This cart financing window will enable street vendors to purchase modular and ecofriendly carts”, added Dr. Sania.

Cart loans have already been disbursed to several vendors operating in G-10 areas, where 130 vendors are operating. More carts will be financed by microfinance banks on easy terms and conditions. The timely and hassle-free financing opportunities for street vending under Ehsaas Rehribaan initiative will ensure sustainable street vending operations.

Further, Dr. Sania said that this street vendors’ initiative under the Ehsaas umbrella is a pioneering experience in Pakistan, whereby a multi-partite engagement of federal and local governments along with think tank and microfinance institutions are collectively structuring a sustainable intervention for enhancing street livelihoods.

In this regard, a formal collaborative partnership is established between Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division (PASSD), Capital Development Authority (CDA), Metropolitan Corporation Islamabad (MCI), ICT Administration and Pakistan Institute of Development Economics (PIDE).

On account of overwhelming positive public response and PM’s appreciation during his recent surprise visit to the ‘Ehsaas Rehribaan’ pilot project, government is now aiming for early expansion of the initiative footprint in Islamabad and its later replication in other urban centers of the country.

Zia Banday, Focal Person Ehsaas Rehribaan initiative was also present.

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