ISLAMABAD - President Asif Ali Zardari has called for stepped-up efforts for developing the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) programme into a comprehensive social protection, poverty alleviation and women empowerment platform.
While briefing President Asif Ali Zardari on the status of the whole range of initiatives of the BISP encompassing Benazir Smart Card here at Presidency, Farzana Raja said that mobile phone banking, programmes for health and education services, imparting training for jobs, accident insurance and interest-free financing for the poor and needy were proving helpful for the people. She said that the poverty score card was a transparent and impartial survey of the poor through an internationally recognized procedure.
The President inquired in particular about the progress in providing educational and vocational training and other services to the people of tribal areas and Balochistan. Farzana Raja apprised the President that 0.4 million deserving families from Balochistan have been included in BISP and the poverty survey had already been completed in the tribal areas. While appreciating the progress made by BISP so far the President asked Farzana Raja to step up efforts for developing the program into a comprehensive social protection, poverty alleviation and women empowerment platform.
Farzana Raja explained to the President how the BISP had been developed into a non partisan and non political poverty alleviation program whose beneficiaries were selected on the basis of transparent poverty survey and not any political or partisan consideration. The President advised Chairperson BISP to take up the challenge of seeking the involvement of the private sector as well international donors for broadening the resource base of the Programme and extending benefits to more and more people.
The Chairman BISP apprised the President of technical and financial support received from various international organizations including the World Bank, USAID, DFID and ADB. She said that foreign government had also evinced interest in replicating the program in their countries.