ISLAMABAD : Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Sania Nishtar on Thursday said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has directed them to expand the Ehsaas Emergency Cash Programme to 16 million people across the country. “The country’s biggest relief programme has so far provided monetary support to 12 million people,” she said while announcing to begin the fourth phase of the cash programme. Providing large sums of money and ensuring its disbursement among people via bio-metric verification process was not an easy task, she said but added that they were able to successfully continue the programme with the support of different institutions of the country Sania Nishtar said that they had taken action against those making deductions in the cash provided to needy families along with rectifying bio-metric identification issues. It is pertinent to mention here that earlier in the day, Prime Minister Imran Khan said the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government successfully transferred Rs120 billion in 9 weeks to over 10 million families to deal with the COVID-19 fallout on the poor. Quoting a survey report, in a tweet, the prime minister said 34 percent of households across India will not be able to survive for more than a week without additional assistance. He, however, offered to help and share Pakistan’s successful cash transfer programme, lauded internationally for its reach and transparency, with India. According to a survey report, titled “How Are Indian Households Coping Under the Covid-19 Lockdown? 8 Key Findings” nearly 84% of Indian households is seeing decreases in income since the lockdown began. Nearly a third of all households will not be able to survive beyond a week without additional assistance.