Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) was initiated by Government of Pakistan with initial allocation of Rs.34 billion (US $ 425 million approximately) for the financial year 2008-09.
In financial year 2007-08, the sharp rise in oil prices and primary products in the international as well as domestic market resulted in double digit inflation, which almost halved the purchasing power of the people. Hence, there was an urgent need for direct and speedy relief to the underprivileged sections of the society and BISP is the response to the said compulsions.
The Programme aimed at covering 3.5 million families in the financial year 2008-2009.
The allocation for the last fiscal year was Rs. 70 billion to provide cash assistance to 5 million families which constitutes almost 15% of the entire population. Thus the programme aims at covering almost 40% of the population below the poverty line allocation for the CFY is 3.50 Billion.
BISP is being implemented in all four provinces (Punjab, Sindh, Baluchistan and Khyber-Pakhtoonkhwa) including Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA), Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) and Islamabad Capital Territory(ICT).
Benazir Income support programme mechanism/smart card process
BISP has established an elaborate targeting mechanism for identification of the poor through the introduction of Poverty Scorecard and the nationwide survey along with creation of a database accompanied by data validation and verification. This targeting database will provide flexibility and automaticity for identification of beneficiaries for any pro-poor safety net.
BISP is making elaborate arrangements for continuous updating of this database through its peripheral offices and the case management system. Once the survey in the entire county is completed and data entry is done, BISP targeting database will serve as the national registry on social protection for the benefit of all the pro-poor programmes initiated in the public and private sector at each level (federal, provincial, district).
Parallel to the above described targeting mechanism, there is need for a similar well documented payment mechanism which can cater for the demands of all types of cash transfer programs to be established at each level. This is important since a speedy, efficient, transparent payment mechanism lies at the heart of the design of any cash transfer programme for the poor in the area of social protection. It is important for such a payment mechanism to provide arrangements for cash disbursements closest to the homes of the beneficiaries in order to reduce the private costs to be incurred by the beneficiaries for getting benefits. Hence the payment mechanism needs to have a maximum outreach and backing of maximum institutional capacity.
Since any one payment mechanism i.e. Pakistan Post money orders, ATMs, branchless banking, smart card cannot provide such an ideal outreach, there is perceived need for a composite payment mechanism in which the suitable payment mode can be applied in the appropriate areas keeping in view the infrastructural deficiencies/ constraints. However all the payment modes need to fit into central payment software to be maintained by BISP for payment generation, grievance redressal and reconciliation.
Transparency of processes is the hallmark of BISP. In order to further strengthen the transparency, disbursement of monthly cash assistance would now be carried out electronically through branchless banking system. In this context, the alternate payment mechanism has already been launched in the four districts (Mianwali, Multan, Sanghar and Mirpurkhas), where the Poverty Scorecard Survey has already been completed. After the successful pilot in the above mentioned districts, it is expected that similar services will be required in other districts around the country once the Poverty Survey is completed in those districts. Requests for Proposals have already been called for implementing the payments through the Benazir Smart Card in the remaining twelve districts of the Test Phase Poverty Survey.
Benazir income support programme waseela haq
Extension of small loans to females beneficiary or her nominee to trigger, cater and eliminate chronic and extreme poverty, thus enabling women empowerment to flourish. This initiative will allow and facilitate women to participate in their personal growth as well as national development. For further details and application form click here
Benazir income support programme application tracking
Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) has been initiated by Government of Pakistan with initial allocation of Rs.34 billion (US $ 425 million approximately) for the year 2008-09 which is the third largest allocation in the total budget and is 0.3% of the GDP for the year 2008-09. The Programme has been initiated to partially offset the impact of inflation on the purchasing power of the poorer sections of the society. In the years 2005-07, inflation stood at almost 10% with food inflation in the range of 13-15%. In the year 2007-08 sharp rise in oil prices and primary products in the international as well as domestic market resulted in double digit inflation rate, which has almost halved the purchasing power of the people. Hence there is urgent need for direct and speedy relief to the poor sections of the society and BISP is the response to the above compulsions. The Programme is aimed at covering almost 15% of the entire population, which constitutes 40% of the population below the poverty line. A monthly payment of Rs.1000/ per family would increase the income of a family earning Rs.5000 by 20%. BISP will cover all four provinces including FATA, AJK, FANA & ICT. Husband, wife and dependent children constitute a family. For tracking application click here
Benazir income support Programme Eligibility and Ineligibility
The following categories of families were eligible:
- Possession of CNIC by female applicant/ recipient.
- Monthly family income is less than Rs.6000/. And subject to the conditions I and II.
- Widowed/ divorced women, without adult male members in the family.
- Any physically or mentally retarded person(s) in the family.
- Any family member suffering from a chronic disease.
The following families were ineligible to receive any assistance under the Programme:
- Where any member of the family is in the employment of government/ semi-government/ authority/ department or armed forces of Pakistan.
- Where any member of the family is drawing pension from government/semi government/authority/department or armed forces of Pakistan.
- Where any of the members of the family is receiving any post-retirement benefits from any government department/ agency.
- Where any member of the family owns an agriculture land more than three acres or residential house/ plot of more than eighty square yards (3 marlas).
- Where any member of the family is receiving income support from any other source like Punjab Food Support Scheme etc.
- Where any member of the family possesses a Machine Readable Passport.
- Where any member of the family possesses a National Identity Card for Overseas Pakistanis (NICOP).
- Where any member of the family has a Bank Account (except in NBP, HBL, UBL, MCB, ABL, BOP, Bolan Bank, Khyber Bank, First Women Bank, ZTBL, Khushhali Bank, and all microfinance banks).
Benazir income support Programme payments
Current Payment Mechanism
The payments to the BISP beneficiaries are being made through the Pakistan Post.
The list of beneficiaries is sent to the Pakistan Post in an electronic form along with a cheque for the total amount to be paid to the beneficiaries.
Pakistan Post prints money orders through a digitized system and Money Orders are paid to the beneficiaries at their doorstep.
At the time of payment delivery, the beneficiary woman has to establish her identity and show her CNIC.
Through this mechanism no one handles the money except the Postman.
As a measure of transparency and social accountability of the Programme, the payment details and status of delivery of each beneficiary has been displayed at the BISP website.
New Payment Mechanism
In order to further improve the payment mechanism, technology based solutions are being explored by BISP.
Such new mechanisms will enable the BISP to execute the payments in a shorter span of time and real time reconciliation of payments. Systems are also being designed to address the payment complaints in a more efficient way.
Payment through the Smart Card is being initiated in four districts on a Pilot basis. The cards are issued by NADRA and the payments are made by a Bank through a network of franchisees and a core banking application.
Benazir income support programme website