The Punjab Labor and Human Resource Department has reportedly delayed the distribution of Punjab Mazdoor Cards (PMCs) in order to give the scheme credit to the new government.
The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government’s flagship project, the PMC, promises subsidized goods and services as well as monetary rewards to enrolled workers and their families. The distribution of the cards, on the other hand, has been delayed.
According to a report by Dawn.com, the federal government plans to repackage the green and red cards in order to claim credit for the program.
The Bank of Punjab (BoP) has covered all costs associated with the ATM-enabled debit card, reportedly spending more than Rs. 160 million through its Corporate Social Responsibility program (CSR). According to the report, it received almost a quarter of the total 1.2 million cards created and dispatched from China.
“The BoP, through a Letter of Agreement, had accepted the request of the Punjab Employees Social Security Institution (PESSI) governing body to bear the total cost of the card’s designing, manufacturing, disbursement, data collection, and verification, besides direct disbursement to the beneficiaries from the bank’s own resources,” a senior official from the Punjab Labor Department told Dawn.
The PMCs, including those containing registered laborer’s names, must be distributed as soon as possible, according to the official, because they will expire on May 9th. The BoP is required to disperse the cards at least two weeks before they expire, but despite all of the procedures, the PESSI has yet to acquire approval, resulting in card expiration and a substantial financial loss for the bank.
According to the State Bank of Pakistan’s regulations, if the cards are not activated within 60 days of issuance (as per the date printed on them), they would expire.
“Approximately 1.2 million registered workers and their nine million family members have been waiting for the cards for quite some time,” Dawn wrote, citing the source.
According to the BoP, 30,000 cards have been customized with the laborer’s names printed on them and must be distributed as soon as possible to keep the plan running. The Labor Department has delayed the printing of further cards as a result of its chilly response, citing the ‘non-disbursement of the first tranche’ as the basis for the halt.
“Under banking standards, the BoP is obligated to give the cards directly to the account-holder beneficiaries and cannot hand them over to the PESSI,” the source explained.