Islamabad: Benazir Income support Programme (BISP) has formally signed the agreement with State Life Corporation to provide health insurance to its registered beneficiary families. The pilot project of health insurance scheme to be launched in Faisalabad District would be extended to beneficiary families all over Pakistan subsequently. Mr. Shahid Aziz Siddiqui, Chairman State Life Corporation and Mr. Sher Khan, Secretary BISP signed the agreement on Friday in the presence of Madame Farzana Raja, Chairperson BISP.
While addressing a presses conference on the occasion, Madame Farzana Raja informed the media representatives that a comprehensive working and planning was being done since last one year to present this unique gift to beneficiary families.
She said that this is the first ever such endeavour in the history of Pakistan where poor of the country have been provided with this facility. Like all other initiatives of BISP, She added, the health insurance would also be carrying state of the art technology-based systems.
She said that BISP has already provided life insurance to its beneficiary families in collaboration with the State Life Insurance Corporation and till now 2.5 Million families have been provided with this facility while rest of the families would also be covered soon.
While referring to the families excluded from the programme, she said that the beneficiary families were identified through Parliamentarians in the first phase of the programme whereas, in the second phase, 7 million families were included in the programme as a result of poverty survey.
The families excluded from the programme had more than 16.17 points on the scorecard and due to budgetary constraints; BISP could not retain them in the programme anymore. She said that the steps were taken to ensure more efficient and accurate beneficiaries’ targeting system so that the most deserving can be benefitted from the programme.
Chairperson BISP said that the pilot project under Health Insurance Scheme is being launched in district Faisalabad where 75 thousand beneficiary families will get benefits from the scheme. She said that the State Life Insurance has signed agreements with 6 hospitals from private sector in the district and was negotiating with Government of the Punjab to sign similar sort of agreements with public sector hospitals.
Madame Farzana Raja said that the World Bank and German organization GIZ was providing financial and technical support regarding health insurance scheme. She said that BISP was established on the concept of social welfare three years back and now it has become a national asset for its services to poor of the country. She said that a considerable reduction in poverty could be expected as a result of this measure in next ten years.
Madame Farzana Raja said that Benazir Cards would also be provided to all of beneficiary families till 30th June this year and the role of postmen would get eliminated. Moreover, she said, under Waseela-e-Taleem initiative of the programme, more than one million children of beneficiary families will be enrolled in the school in near future.
While mentioning Waseela-e-Haq Sindh, she said that it was first time ever in the history of Pakistan that a provincial government has adopted such Federal Programme. She said that Sindh government has allocated Rs. 12 billion for this scheme to provide interest free loans to 35 thousand youth in the province whereas BISP would provide technical facilitation to the scheme.
Chairperson BISP said that some elements criticize the programme out of their sheer ignorance or to attain cheap populism. They should better get proper information about the programme instead of harming the interest of millions of the poor beneficiary families in the country.
In response to a query, Madame Farzana Raja said that BISP is a most transparent programme in all of its aspect and even President of Pakistan being Chief Patron, Prime Minister as Executive Patron and I as Chairperson BISP do not posses discretion of including a single family. By virtue of its transparent mechanism at every level, BISP is being supported and trusted by international organizations consistently, she added.
In response to another query, Madame Farzana urged media representatives to inform the public about fake sms texts to beneficiary families and general public on the name of BISP. She said that these swindler elements must be taken to task and in case of any such occurrence, BISP should be informed immediately so that strict action can be taken.
For more information, contact:
Assistant Media Officer
Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) – Sindh
Cell: +92333 239 4466