‘Coordinated efforts needed to achieve better BISP results’ | Pakistan Today

‘Coordinated efforts needed to achieve better BISP results’

KARACHI – The objective of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) is to support poor families and needy people and coordinated efforts at the federal and provincial levels are required to achieve better results, Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah said on Monday. The provincial chief executive said this during a meeting held to review the progress of the BISP at the Chief Minister’s House. He said that the PPP, in its manifesto, has announced a 5-E programme under which efforts are being made to reduce poverty.
“President Asif Ali Zardari started the BISP to materialise the dream of making Pakistan a welfare state,” he said, adding that the BISP was launched in July 2008 with the primary objective of providing immediate relief to the poor and enabling them to absorb the shock of rising prices of food and fuel. He pointed out that Sindh has already initiated the Shaheed Benazir Youth Development Programme and with the start of the BISP, there may be an overlapping of programmes, adding that the technical training schemes under STEVTA are also of a similar nature.
“All these training progammes need to be run under one umbrella,” he said.
Shah lauded the poverty survey scheme and said that it will assist the government to plan in various spheres of development and progress in a coordinated manner.
Earlier, BISP Chairperson Farzana Raja welcomed the participants of the meeting and informed that so far Rs 70 billion have been disbursed among four million families throughout the country under the BISP. She said that the number of beneficiary families is expected to increase to over five million once the ongoing nationwide targeting survey is completed by the end of June this year.
Raja said that the BISP has achieved international recognition due to its technology-based and transparent system, and the World Bank, the UN, the US and British governments and the Asian Development Bank have appreciated the BISP performance and have actually provided financial support for the programme.
She said that the first-ever nationwide targeting survey started in October 2010 in all districts of the country including AJK and Gilgit- Baltistan to provide equal opportunity to every Pakistani, who holds a computerised national identity card, to get registered with the BISP regardless of caste, creed and religion.
She added that overall, more than 60 percent of the country has been surveyed. The BISP chairperson also gave details about the Benazir Smart Card and Mobile Phone Banking that are aimed at transparent disbursement of aid. She said that 192,000 families of four districts – Larkana , Layyah , Battagram and Backhan – are being provided free mobile phones and so far 172,751 Benazir Smart Cards have been distributed and Rs 1.07 billion have been disbursed to beneficiary families.

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