ISLAMABAD: The Senate Standing Committee on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety was given a detailed briefing on the criteria for distribution of GRASP matching grants in the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund and the issues related to Balochistan province in particular, on behalf of the BISP beneficiaries.
The meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety was held under the chairmanship of Naseebullah Bazai.
Apart from the progress of measures taken by the institution for the improvement of the standards set for the Trust Voluntary Organizations (TVO) for the last five years, matters were reviewed in detail.
A detailed briefing was received on the criteria for the distribution of GRASP matching grants in the Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund and the issues related to Balochistan province in particular.
The committee was informed that it is funded by the European Union. It is working in 12 districts of Sindh province and 10 districts of Balochistan with the main objective to reduce poverty in rural areas and develop small villages through SMEs.
In 22 districts, it provides grants for onion, grapes, dates, poultry, sheep and goat sectors aimed at improving their productivity and related issues.
The first grant is 0.5 million for which the national ID card, age limit of at least 18 years, five acres of land, and five years of work experience with annual sales of two million, number of employees from 1 to 9, and business record are required. Special attention is given to women and persons with disabilities in this work.
Further, Rs2.5 million grant is given for the second eligibility criteria in which SME share is 20 percent, government employee is not eligible, owner of 25 acres of land or working on leased land and five remained engaged in the farming sector and have relevant sales of Rs0.2 million to Rs2 million per annum, 10 to 50 employees, having a bank account and having 30 years of audit report can be eligible for this programme.
In the third category, a grant of Rs3 million is given. In which SME’s share is three percent, 25 acres of land owned or leased and five years of farming experience including Rs20 million to Rs800 million annual sales, three years audit report, 20 to 200 employees and other standards have been set.
Matching grant criteria have been set separately for the three categories. The committee was told that 35,000 farmers have been trained in this regard. Four kinds of parties monitor them. The committee was told that a food festival was organised in which these farmers received orders worth $5.4 million. It also improved cold storage and packaging and received orders from 16 different countries.
Bazai said that Dera Bugti of Balochistan province should also be included in these districts. The committee while appreciating the performance of the institution said that effective work is being done in the backward areas of Sindh and Balochistan and it should be further promoted.
In the meeting of the Standing Committee, BISP reviewed in detail the progress of the measures taken by the institution to improve the quality and standards set for the BISP beneficiaries, especially the beneficiaries of Balochistan province.
Chairperson BISP Dr Amjad Saqib and additional secretary BISP briefed the committee in detail. The BISP chairperson said “this is not a charity programme, the impression is completely wrong; it is a relief programme which is the largest welfare programme in South Asia.
About six crore families receive assistance under this programme. Eight million children receive educational scholarships and 1.5 million young students receive scholarships for universities. One million pregnant women receive Rs2,000 per month so that they can eat well.”
The committee was informed that in 2008, the BISP started functioning. The committee was informed that the beneficiaries are included through a scorecard. The lower the score, the poorer they are. BISP is one of the top five international welfare organisations. It has data of 35.6 million people in the country.
GPS location is also available and data of 160 districts has been recorded. 647 Dynamic Registry Centres have been set up for the inclusion of the people left behind in the survey. 120 DRCs are working in Balochistan province. 20 mobile vans are available for registration and NADRA is also working in this regard that they should sit its representative in Balochistan province so that people can join it by creating a national identity card.
Around 500 motorcycle owners are being recruited for registration in remote areas so that they can register through their motorcycles.
There are 454,214 registered beneficiaries in BISP Kafalat, to whom Rs12.09 billion have been distributed in the financial year 2022-23 and so far, Rs1.6 trillion have been distributed across the country under this programme. 36 Facilitation Centres have been established in Balochistan for BISP Nashnoma Programme.
In the 2022 flood, one billion rupees was provided to the flood victims with the World Food Program. Under the Nashnoma programme, one child is given financial assistance for two years. So that it can develop better.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023