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December 24, 2018

BISP’s board meeting to review welfare programmes - programme including Waseela-e-Sehat, Waseela-e-Rozgar and Waseela-e-Haq

BISP’s board meeting to review welfare programmes - programme including Waseela-e-Sehat, Waseela-e-Rozgar and Waseela-e-Haq 

The Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) management is planning to review all its welfare programmes in its board meeting which is scheduled to be held on Monday. A senior official of the BISP told Business Recorder on Saturday that all welfare schemes of the programme including Waseela-e-Sehat, Waseela-e-Rozgar and Waseela-e-Haq were on hold and may be restarted with fresh approval of the board.

He said the BISP board will also ponder upon the federal government's proposal of bringing BISP along with other welfare programmes like Bait-ul-Maal under a Poverty Alleviation Authority. Prime Minister Imran Khan has already hinted at launch of a poverty alleviation programme in the country to cater the needs of poor people for food and curb stunted growth in children.

The BISP official, however, said since the BISP was only meant for poor women; therefore its inclusion in the poverty alleviation authority would require an approval of its board. He said the PTI government has announced to launch a Health Card Scheme in 36 districts of Punjab to provide health insurance of around Rs0.4 million to each individual, therefore continuation of BISP's Waseela-e-Sehat scheme would not be possible. The health card scheme will initially cover over 50 million poor people in Punjab.

Since appointment of Dr Sania Nishtar as chairperson of the BISP, it would be the first meeting of the programme to carve out its future course of action. The BISP official said the board is also likely to discuss inclusion of new members in the programme as under the current rules and regulations, no new beneficiary can be added to the programme.

The BISP chairperson along with her team has already given an initial briefing to the prime minister about its role and objective in alleviating poverty. The PTI government allocated Rs124.7 billion for the BISP for fiscal year 2018-19 to provide monthly cash stipend to around 5.7 million beneficiaries, out of 7.7 million eligible families for the programme as identified through a Poverty Scorecard survey in 2010.

The BISP official said that Waseela-e-Taleem programme for Punjab may be discontinued as the province has launched School Health and Nutrition programme in 1,700 schools. The programme will initially cater to students of nine districts - Lahore, Bhakkar, Jhang, Dera Ghazi Khan, Rawalpindi, Rahim Yar Khan, Multan, Mianwali and Sargodha - which will later be expanded to other districts in phases.



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