ISLAMABAD - President Asif Ali Zardari has advised the government to facilitate the pensioners by streamlining the pension disbursement mechanism for facilitating all pensioners particularly the disabled ones.
The meeting was attended among others by the Auditor General of Pakistan, Finance Secretary, President National Bank of Pakistan, Chairman NADRA, Director General National Savings and Secretary General to the President Salman Farouqui.
Spokesperson to the President, Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the President had expressed deep concern for the pensioners who have to line up for days to collect their pensions, besides showing attested certificates that they are alive even though the pensioners including disabled pensioners on wheel chairs or infirm are required to be present to collect their pensions.
He said that the President had directed chairman NADRA to work on a comprehensive mechanism to facilitate pensioners by issuing them biometrics Smart Cards so that they could draw their pension from any biometrics enabled ATM of any bank and are saved from the botheration of long queues and inordinate delays.
The spokesperson said that chairman NADRA informed that in order to facilitate pensioners, NADRA intends to launch in two phases a Pensions Disbursement Program using its Biometrics Verification System.
In the first phase, all the pensioners across the country will be enrolled at NADRA Swift Registration Centres and will be issued smart national identification cards. In the second phase, the pensioners will be able to draw their pensions from any of NADRA’s E-Sahulat Branchless Banking Franchisees.
Giving details of the mechanism, chairman NADRA informed that currently there are over 6,000 franchisees across Pakistan and more franchises can be added based on the market need.
The pensioner along with his/her Smart National ID will visit his/her nearest E-Sahulat Franchisee where he/she will be verified by NADRA Biometrics Verification System before disbursement of the pension, he said. He said that with these Smart Cards, the holder won’t have to provide proof that he is living, because the card will only accept thumb impression of a living person.
He said that holder of the card won’t be required to withdraw the pension amount in one go. He will be able to withdraw any amount at any time at any biometrics enabled ATM of any bank. Every National Bank branch will have biometrics ATMs, he informed the meeting.
The meeting was informed that pensioners drawing less than Rs 10,000 per month will be provided free smart cards.
Spokesperson said that the meeting decided to ensure that disabled pensioners will be paid pension amount at his home of residence and that similar convenient measures will be introduced for pensioners receiving pension through post office branches.
He said that the meeting directed Chairman NADRA to submit proposals to the Cabinet in consultation with the Auditor General, Ministry of Finance and President National Bank by August 14, for its consideration.