MABAD (APP) - Scholars from different schools of religious thought highly praised the launch of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) during a round-table consultative meeting organised here Thursday by the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII).
Chairperson BISP Farzana Raja presided over the meeting held in collaboration with Iqbal International Institute for Research and International Islamic University.
The discussions focussed on the topic of "Democracy and Social Welfare Programme for Poor, especially Women, in the light of Shariah." During the four-hour meeting the ulema extended their full support to the government for effective implementation of the income support initiative across the country.
They stressed that BISP is in line with the Holy Quran and Shariah as Islam emphasised lays great emphasis on taking proper care of the poor segments of society.
Speaking on the occasion Farzana Raja thanked ulema for their full backing to smooth implementation of the biggest financial assistance programme in the country's history. She said the government has launched this programme after holding a thorough discussion to make it comprehensive and flawless.
"BISP has been finalised keeping in view the teachings of Islam and traditions of the society and it takes care that self-respect of beneficiaries is not compromised," she said.
Farzana Raja said special measures have been adopted to deliver the amount of assistance to women at their doorsteps. NADRA outlets have also been established in far-flung areas of the country, especially in FATA, to facilitate women for issuance of national identity cards, which are mandatory for registration under the BISP. NADRA teams comprising women staff are operating in Charsadda, Mardan, Bannu and Swat to facilitate issuance of ID cards to women, she added.
During the last three months, NADRA has issued about one million ID cards to women in various parts of the country, out of which 14000, 45000, 53000 were in the areas of FATA, Balochistan and Sindh respectively.
Chairperson BISP said the programme was the government's first step towards making the country a real welfare state.
Giving update on the programme, she said 35 million forms have been distributed among the needy families across the country, while in the second phase seven million more families would be added to the scheme.
The second phase will start after the month of June.
She said financial assistance to 200,000 families has so far been dispatched through the postal services. "We are sending 70,000 to 80,000 money orders every week to the deserving people."
Farzana Raja said the government is considering another proposal to include some other facilities like special concession to BISP card holders at utility stores and due care at hospitals. She said a proposal for an increase in the monthly assistance under BISP was also under consideration.
The MP said a national survey on poverty would soon be launched for which the Prime Minister has already accorded the approval and the data thus collected would be helpful to the efforts to eradicate poverty. "It will be a house-to-house survey and every person fulfilling the criteria will be accommodated under the BISP," Farzana Raja said.