Govt to launch 'Nutrition Supplement Programme'

ISLAMABAD- To substitute the Tawana Pakistan Programme, the Ministry of Social Welfare has decided to launch a new programme 'Nutrition Supplement Programme' with worth Rs 900 million. The Secretary of Social Welfare Ministry said while addressing the second meeting of the Sub-Committee of the Senate Standing Committee on Social Welfare that took place here on Saturday. Senator Mohammad Enver Baig chaired the meeting. The meeting thoroughly discussed the Tawana Pakistan Programme and decided to compile the report as soon as possible and not linger the issue anymore. The PC-1 of the programme has been submitted to the Planning Commission, which will decide whether this programme should be given to Ministry of Social Welfare or Ministry of Education said GM Skinder secretary of Ministry of Social Welafre. He said currently the PC-1 is submitted to planning commission and it will decide about its future as whether it should be given to the Ministry of Social Welfare or Ministry of Education. Once approved by the Planning Commission, Ministry of Social Welfare will launch it in 10 districts, he further added. The report presented in the meeting also accused Zubiada Jalal of pre-test launching of the programme without the approval of its PC-1. Speaking on the occasion, former minister for Social Welfare Zubaida Jalal termed the allegation totally baseless. She said she in 2004 after resuming charges as Social Welfare Minster had immediately suspended the programme and had ordered for a third part evaluation. At that time 80 percent of the total amount allocated for the programme was being spent on administrative purpose and only 20 percent was was being spent on the actual targeted female students. "When this thing came to my notice I took immediate steps and revered that position", she added. She said whatever is being said is one-sided story. The opponent party should also be given equal chance to clarify their position, she said. She denied that she had taken Rs 3.6 million from TPP for purchasing mineral water for herself. On that the Secretary, Ministry of Social Welfare corrected her and said the report says she has spent Rs 375,000 on mineral water from TPP funds. The former National Programme Director of TPP also denied the charges put on him and vowed to defend himself even if he has to go to court. Former Minister Zubaida Jalal, ex-National Programme Manager of TPP Irfanulah, ex-Managing Director of Baitul Maal and other allegedly involved in the corruption presented on the occasion. It is pertinent to mention here that Tawana Pakistan Programme was launched by previous government at a cost of Rs 7.63 billion with the aim of addressing problem of malnutrition among school children. The programme was meant to provide packed food, including milk and nutritious biscuits, regularly to around 530,000 girl students aged between 5 to 12 from 7,000 public primary schools in 50 districts of Pakistan. However, after noticing malfunctioning, the government decided to close it.

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