ISLAMABAD: The government Friday announced that the budget for the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) was increased from Rs 235 billion to Rs 400 billion reflecting an increase of 70.12 per cent.
Addressing a press conference here, Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety and Chairperson Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) Shazia Marri along with with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Faisal Karim Kundi said that the BISP is a government program designed to alleviate poverty by providing financial assistance to the most vulnerable and needy families.
The minister said that the masses are bearing the burden of inflation caused due to poor policies of the previous government during the last four years, adding that the inflation cannot be controlled in a day as it needed consistency of economic policies.
Marri said that the first year of the government had been challenging which included economic, political and climate change crises. “Our government was taking several steps to improve the economic condition of the masses.
Our preference is public and we are aware of their issues.” She said that the legislature and government would have to sustain the supremacy of the Constitution and the sanctity of the parliament.
She said the last year’s flood severely affected millions of people in the country which created a huge loss of property and crops. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif had allocated Rs70 billion for the support of people of flood-hit areas through BISP. This aid covered around 2.8 million families and under the initiative Rs25000 were distributed among each affected family, she added.
She further informed that the BISP had also distributed a huge number of food nutrition sachets of rupees one billion from its own budget among pregnant women and infants to meet their food deficiency in flood-hit areas.
The BISP was also working with the government of Sindh to award subsidies on wheat seeds. Meanwhile, financial support was given to around 186,000 small farmers in flood-affected areas, she added. The number of needy families under BISP had increased to nine million.
“Similarly, BISP Nashonuma Coverage Programme was started in 15 districts in 2014 as a pilot programme. Later the initiative extended to 156 districts across the country. Today a total of 472 centres were working across the country under this initiative”.
The government was making all possible efforts to support the needy families of the society, she said, adding, “we have started a dynamic registry survey facility which is free of cost for each and every citizen aiming at the speedy increase in registration process”.
Shazia also informed that transgenders were also being included in this programme because they were victims of social, and economic challenges in society. “Deserving she-males can take benefit from BISP now. Those transgenders who have already registered with NADRA are included in the BISP programme, saying that there was no condition of PMT for transgenders, and urged them to register themselves from NADRA and their concerned tehsil to get benefit from this scheme”.
The minister said that the government had awarded a subsidy on the fuel of Rs16.7 billion an amount of Rs2000 for each family among 8.6 million needy families across the country.
Speaking on the occasion, Faisal Karim Kundi said that we have to sustain the supremacy of the constitution. Pakistan People’s Party had given a constitution to this country but unfortunately, Zulifqar Bhutto had been martyred.
Parliament played the role of mother of all institutions, he said adding that we have to find a solution to all problems of the country.
He said that the dialogue was the only solution to the current challenges being faced by the country. In that regard, a three-member committee has been established headed by former prime minister Yusaf Raza Gilani.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023