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Feldman assumes charge as US special envoy for Pakistan and Afghanistan -
WASHINGTON, Aug 1 (APP): US Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan Dan Feldman- currently visiting Kabul- Friday assumed charge of office, after his predecessor Ambassador James Dobbins concluded his tenure on July 31, the State Department said.


UN-backed task force set up to reduce risks of flying over conflict zones -
UNITED NATIONS, Aug 1 (APP): In the wake of the recent downing of a Malaysia airlines plane over eastern Ukraine, the United Nations and its partners have set up a task force to reduce the risks of civilian planes flying over conflict areas and ensure that the "right information reaches the right people at the right time."


Israel and Hamas agree to 72-hour humanitarian ceasefire -
UNITED NATIONS, Aug 1 (APP): Israel and Hamas have agreed to a 72-hour pause in their three-week conflict, the United Nations and the United States announced, allowing for both sides to begin talks on a longer-term ceasefire.


Pakistan stresses strengthening peacekeeping and global and regional partnerships -
UNITED NATIONS, July 31 (APP): Pakistan has called for strengthening partnerships between global and regional organizations in the field of peacekeeping to enable the international community to respond more quickly and effectively to violent conflict and promote solutions.


Washington conference explores Pakistan's options to meet exponential energy needs -
WASHINGTON, July 31 (APP): Pakistan's energy crisis could best be addressed through a holistic approach integrating immediate improvement in current generation and supply systems with judiciously planned exploitation of diverse sources, top experts emphasized at a one-day conference.


Sport News
Pakistan Test squad leaves for Colombo on Saturday
KARACHI, Aug 1 (APP): Led by veteran batsman Misbah-ul-Haq, a 15-member Pakistan Test squad is due to leave for Colombo on Saturday to play a two-Test match series against Sri Lanka starting in Galle on August 6.
 
Misbah 7th in Test batsmen rankings
ISLAMABAD, Aug 1 (APP): Pakistan skipper Misbah-ul-Haq is ranked 7th with 824 rating points in the latest Reliance ICC Player Rankings for Test Batsmen, released on Friday.
 
National ranking tennis tourney from Aug 2
ISLAMABAD, July 31 (APP): Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) will hold Warid National Ranking Tennis Tournament from August 2-7 here at PTF Complex.
 
FIH announce teams for Youth Olympic Games
ISLAMABAD, Jul 31 (APP): The International Hockey Federation (FIH) has announced the 20 teams that will be competing in the Hockey competition at the 2014 Youth Olympic Games in Nanjing next month.
 
Warid national ranking tourney from Aug 2
ISLAMABAD, July 30 (APP): Pakistan Tennis Federation (PTF) will hold Warid National Ranking Tennis Tournament from August 2-7 here at PTF Complex.
 
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NADRA’s smart card to benefit over 2.1 million federal government pensioners PDF Print E-mail
By Karim Madad

ISLAMABAD, Mar 13 (APP): The government under the directives of President Asif Ali Zardari has announced a Smart Card Scheme for all the federal government pensioners majority of them elderly citizens including retired army personals, meeting their long awaited demand. “The smart card would benefit over 2.1 million federal government pensioners including retired army personnels across the country and this project would be completed jointly by the Ministry of Finance and National Database Registration Authority (NADRA),” Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs Senator Salmeem H Mandviwalla told a news conference here the other day.
Director General NADRA’s Smart Card Project Gohar Ahmed Khan was also present on the occasion.
Saleem H Madviwalla said that decision of launching NADRA’s Smart Card for federal government retired employees was a big achievement of the present government, which would benefit a large number of the pensioners by utilizing this facility.
“This was the long awaited demand of the pensioners which has been fulfilled by the present government for the relief of the pensioners “, Mindviwalla remarked.
He added that the government’s disbursement of pensioners through different banks and post offices would also continue side by side of the NADRA’s smart card on the choice of the pensioners.
He said that the one smart card of a pensioner would cost Rs.1500 and the Finance Ministry and NADRA would borne the cost on 50:50 basis while the pensioner would get the card free of cost.
Giving details of NADRA’s Smart Identity Card for all federal government pensioners, the Ministry of Finance sources said that Federal Government maintains over 2.1 million pension accounts to support the retired pensioners and their families through regular pension disbursement.
The sources added that the pension is mainly disbursed through network of National Bank of Pakistan and Pakistan Post with some pensioners also benefiting from Direct Credit scheme.
Majority of these pensioners, they added were elderly citizens, who had served the country with honour, dignity and great pride.
However, they said that it has been observed that these elderly pensioners have been facing difficulty in withdrawal of their pension every month, mainly due to long unmanaged queues, accessibility issues, manual record keeping by disbursement agencies, restricted timings and limited outreach of designated disbursement agencies.
The Ministry sources said that President Asif Ali Zardari, took notice of the problems faced by Federal Government Pensioners and instructed  Federal Government Ministries, Divisions and authorities concerned, including NADRA to develop a new transparent and convenient Pension Disbursement System that would integrate seamlessly with the existing pension disbursement mechanism and increase outreach for better facilitation of all Federal Government pensioners.
The NADRA, they said has accordingly devised a new automated Pension Disbursement System that utilizes the latest Smart Card technology for On-Spot Biometric Verification  and pension disbursement.
The NADRA, they added has re-engineered the existing business processes to develop a complete new mechanism that supports enrollment disbursement, settlement and reconciliation  between all stakeholders.
The new  mechanism aims to undertake all transactions electronically, securely and swiftly with complete audit trail to ensure transparency, they remarked.
They further said that free of charge/optional service for Pensioners adding that utilization of this system is kept optional; and it is the pensioner prerogative to decide if they wish to opt and withdraw their monthly pension  through pension Disbursement System developed by NADRA.
Pensioners who opt for payment of pension through this system would be issued smart National ID  Card without any processing fee (charge to the pensioner).
“This fee shall be equally borne by GoP and NADRA (i.e. Currently Rs. 750 GOP and Rs. 750 NADRA”, they said.
The Ministry of Finance sources said that the new system goes beyond traditional pension disbursement procedures and provides pensioners with the opportunity to withdraw pension from their nearest outlets at any time of their convenience.
“NADRA e-Sahulat outlets provide a nationwide nexus of franchises to support the pension disbursement to the pensioners.  The pensioner will have the option to withdraw their pension from around 6,000 NADRA e-sahulat (pension disbursement) outlets; that shall also be expanded to Bank Branches & Post Offices in the near future”, they remarked.
 

     

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