ISLAMABAD, Dec 21 (APP): More than 15 million women have obtained Computerized National Identity Cards(CNIC) for getting benefits from the numerous initiatives of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).The programme has gained great success in social sector by making its outreach to almost 7 million poor families to provide them with financial assistance and making them self-reliant.The door to door poverty survey to identify the poor segment of society has been completed in most parts of the country while it is under process in FATA,Bajour and Kurram Agencies, Farzana Raja, Chairperson of BISP said in an interview with APP on Wednesday.The BISP will hopefully reduce 20 per cent poverty in the next five to ten years through various schemes, she said.
About major initiatives of the BISP, Farzana said, an amount of Rs 70 billion has been disbursed to date among Rs 2.24 million beneficiary family in the first phase.
Whereas, approximately Rs 25 billion has so far been distributed among 3.2 million eligible families after identification through the nationwide poverty survey.
Farzana Raja said the programme under ‘Waseela-e-Haq’initiative is providing an amount of Rs 300,000 to the registered beneficiaries through a transparent manner.
The amount is given as soft loan to the beneficiaries to run small businesses.22 Waseela-e-Haq draws have taken place so far and 10,974 beneficiary families have been declared eligible to receive this returnable financial assistance.
Under ‘Waseela-e-Rozgar’, the BISP is planning to impart vocational and technical training to the female beneficiary or her nominee under this initiative and training has been conducted for master trainers in 50 trades in collaboration with China.
As many as 150, 000 beneficiaries will be given technical training to produce skilled manpower for the country every year which will enable these families to become self-reliant, Farzana said.
The vocational courses of one month, six months and one year duration have been announced both for men and women, however, each trainee be given a stipend of Rs 6000 every month.
Under Waseela-e-Sehet, the beneficiary families are entitled to receive Rs.100,000 in case of death of their bread earner, under the ‘Life Insurance’ scheme and around 3.1 million families have already been insured in this process.
However, Health insurance has been initially launched in Faisalabad district which will soon be scaled up in other districts, Farzana said.
After successful launch of these projects, BISP is now all set to enroll more than one million children of beneficiary families in schools by April next year under its ‘Waseela-e-Taleem’ Programme.
Farzana Raja said that the project would help promote education in the country as well as Azad Jammu and Kashmir, adding “the BISP is also playing a key role to empower women, youth and children of the country.”
She said that MoUs have already been signed with Sindh, Gilgit-Baltistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, while the project would be extended to Punjab and Balochistan soon.
Around one million children will be registered in the schools for free education in the first phase of the initiative.
Three children from each beneficiary family can be enrolled in the schools for free education and the deserving families will be given cash grant on the condition of ensuring registration of their children in schools, the official said.
An amount of Rs 200 per child will be given as conditional cash grant for each beneficiary family under this initiative.
For ensuring transparent transfer of cash grant to its beneficiaries, BISP has also introduced Benazir Smart Card in some districts on pilot basis and cash grant of over Rs. 2.27 billion has been transferred by BISP through smart cards.
In districts; Mainwali, Mirpurkhas, Multan and Sanghar, 182,511 cards have been distributed among beneficiary families.
However, Mobile Phone Banking has also been introduced for the first time in the history of the country.
Free mobilephones has been distributed among 107,000 beneficiaries in the districts Larkana, Battagram, Layyah, Rawalpindi and Islamabad and an amount of Rs 1.16 billion has been disbursed to date.
Mobile Phone Banking is also being launched in districts Barkhan, Poonch,Ghanche shortly.
Farzana said BISP is playing a pivotal role in eradication of poverty as well as socio-economic uplift of the beneficiary families through its initiatives.
She said the programme was launched for economic empowerment of down trodden segment of society, following the vision of Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto for women emancipation.
Farzana Raja said that the democratic government has taken concrete and practical steps to advance the cause of women empowerment in the country.
The BISP is the major programme in the country which is striving for the economic and social empowerment of the women.