Islamabad, January 22, 2013 (PPI-OT): Rt Honourable Justine Greening, the UK’s Secretary of State for International Development has congratulated Federal Minister and Chairperson Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) in turning BISP into an impressive and successful Programme of social sector. She particularly appreciated the fact that by adopting technology based payment mechanisms; the complex procedure of disbursements to millions of BISP beneficiaries has been made simpler, efficient and most transparent. She said this during her meeting with Madame Farzana Raja here at BISP Secretariat. Ms. Justine Greening was leading a delegation comprising of Mark Richardson, DFID Minister’s Private Secretary, Victoria Crawford, DFID Minister’s Special Advisor, Moazzam Malik, Director, George Turkington, Head of DFID Pakistan, Alexis Ferrand, Head of Economic Growth and Fatime Naqvi, Team Leader Social Cash Transfers.
Rt Honorable Justine Greening also acknowledged the fact that BISP’s innovative technology in the form of Benazir Debit Card and Mobile Phone Banking etc has been introduced to the lower segments of society which is quite remarkable achievement. UK’s Secretary of State for International Development said “The UK and Pakistan have a unique bond, tied together by family, friendship, trade, history, and culture. I look forward to continuing to work closely together as partners for the long term, to help lift millions of people in Pakistan out of poverty.”
Earlier, the Chairperson BISP while thanking the continuing support of British Government informed the delegation about various interventions of the Programme aiming at poverty alleviation, women empowerment and to make Pakistan a social welfare state. She said that the Government is focusing on targeted subsidies moving away from the general subsidies and BISP is playing a pivotal role in this regard.
Madame Farzana Raja on the occasion apprised the members of the delegation that BISP is contributing significantly in achieving the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) of United Nations regarding women empowerment and education. It is a ‘one-window programme’ providing various services to the beneficiary families simultaneously, she added.
Chairperson BISP said that targeting the most deserving families was a big challenge, but with the help of the first ever nation-wide poverty census, BISP has accurately identified more than 7.3 million families. She said that BISP is regarded as an apolitical Programme as its act was unanimously passed by all the political parties in both houses of the Parliament.
Madame Farzana Raja said that the use of the state of the art modern technology by BISP has proved to be a great help in enhancing the transparency employed in the Programme further. She said that despite the difficult ground situation, BISP has completed country wide poverty survey including in the region of FATA. She added further that BISP is an asset of all Pakistanis and serving people without any discrimination or any other consideration.
It is worth mentioning here that UK Department for International Development (DFID) is one of the major donors supporting BISP’s Cash Transfer Programme. Also an MoU between BISP and UK Department for International Development (DFID) on UK’s contribution of £ 300 million in support of BISP’s cash transfer and Waseela-e-Taleem (Right to Education) has been signed. Under Waseela-e-Taleem initiative, 3 million non-school going children of BISP beneficiary families will be enrolled in primary schools.
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Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) – Sindh
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