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UN chiefs make impassioned plea to save besieged civilians in Syria -
UNITED NATIONS, April 23 (APP): The heads of five U.N. humaniarian agencies Wednesday made an urgent call on Syrian authorities and the opposition to allow aid access, end siege warfare and halt the indiscriminate bombing of civilians, saying ‘those with the responsibility, power and influence’ should work to re-energize a thus-far failed diplomatic push to end the brutal three-year conflict.


CNS Admiral Asif Sandila meets top PLAN officials -
QINGDAO, Apri 23 (APP): Chief of Naval Staff Admiral (CNS) Muhammad Asif Sandila held a detailed meeting with top officials of People’s Liberation Army (Navy) here Wednesday, official sources said.


Pak Navy frigate Shamsheer participates in multi-country maritime exercises -
BEIJING, Apr 23 (APP): Pakistan’s Navy frigate Shamsheer took part in multi-country maritime exercises held off the coast of the eastern Chinese city of Qingdao on Wednesday.


Myanmar’s Kachin state children face growing threats amid fighting: UN warns -
UNITED NATIONS, April 23 (APP): Recent fighting between Government forces and autonomy-seeking Kachin rebels in Myanmar, and the resulting displacement of thousands of people, has significantly increased the risks to young people, including possible recruitment, limited access to basic services and the threat of landmines, the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) warned Tuesday.


UN panel hears Iran’s complaint on envoy visa issue, but takes no action -
UNITED NATIONS, April 23 (APP): Iran Tuesday made a formal complaint to a United Nations committee over the U.S. refusal to grant a visa to Tehran’s ambassador-designate to the U.N., but the 19-member body adjourned without taking any action on the key issue.


Sport News
Sharjeel stuns World Champion Asif in KC Challenge Snooker
KARACHI, Apr 23 (APP): Sharjeel Mehmood stunned former World Champion Muhammad Asif 4-1 to chalk out his third victory on the third day of 18th Karachi Club Open Challenge Snooker Tournament at KC’s Amir Bakhsh Billiards Hall on Wednesday.
 
A unique feat at KBA Bridge
KARACHI, Apr 23 (APP): A Dead Heat of three bridge players-Shakeel Chandna, Pak Day International Pairs Bridge winner, Shahab Khan and enthusiast Muhammad Rafique, all of them finished on top with a handsome score of 59.38 percent, Karachi Bridge Association (KBA) announced on Wednesday.
 
Three matches decided in Nishan-e-Haider hockey Tournament
LAHORE, Apr 23 (APP): Pakistan Railways, Wapda and National Bank of Pakistan marched ahead in the Ninth Nishan-e-Haider Hockey Tournament after winning their respective matches on Wednesday at the Mutiullah hockey stadium Bahawalpur.
 
Sherwani, Jan optimistic about hockey revival
KARACHI, Apr 23 (APP): Former Olympian Salim Sherwani and international Jan Muhammad are optimistic about the revival of Pakistan hockey despite a bleak scenario.
 
Zaheer Abbas named principal advisor to Chairman PCB
LAHORE, Apr 21 (APP): Pakistan Cricket Board has appointed, former test cricketer, Zaheer Abbas as the Principle Advisor to PCB Chairman and Moin Khan as Chief Selector and Manager of National Cricket Team.
 
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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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