The Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) has decided to initiate two new schemes, Kifalat and Tahafuz, from next fiscal year to ensure financial and digital inclusion of around six million women and to provide health and nutrition facilities to marginalized families in remote areas of the country.
A senior official of the BISP told Business Recorder on Saturday that the Board has approved modalities of both the programmes in its meeting held last month after Prime Minister Imran Khan formally launched poverty reduction program "Ehsaas."
He said that the Kifalat program will ensure financial and digital inclusion of around six million women through one woman one bank account policy, while a new health and nutrition program, Tahafuz, would be designed to provide health and nutrition facilities to families living in remote areas of the country. The official said that both of these projects will be included in the "Ehsaas" program aimed at reducing poverty in the country and would be formally launched by the start of next fiscal year.
The PTI government allocated Rs124.7 billion for BISP for fiscal year 2018-19 which provides 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 has also decided to assist its beneficiaries through business incubation and establish at least 500 digital hubs in eight tehsil offices of the program on a pilot basis, he said.
To improve accountability and transparency in working of the program, the BISP board has also approved Whistle Blowing Policy and Conflict of Interest Policy, the official said, adding that through approval of Whistle Blowing Policy, the BISP now provides a platform to the employees and other interested parties to identify any irregularity, embezzlement, fraud, wrongdoing confidentially, without any fear of adverse consequences. He said that approval of Conflict of Interest Policy reflects the board and management's attempt to ensure that decisions in the program are taken entirely in public interest. Senior management and board members would be required to declare any personal interest and would have to distance themselves from any decision where they have any interest," he said.
"In every board meeting, the board members will now have to declare any possible conflict of interest, and fully comply with this requirement," he said.