Benazir Hari Cards to enable banking transactions, says CM

By Our Correspondent
May 30, 2024
Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah presides over a meeting of Agriculture Department at CM House on May 29, 2024. — Facebook/Sindh Chief Minister House

Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said that farmers in the province would be issued Benazir Hari Cards to make them eligible to receive benefits from various government programmes.


Shah said that the proposed Benazir Hari Cards would be issued to consolidate information related to farmers for transparent and efficient implementation of pro-farmer government interventions.

The CM made these remarks on Wednesday during a meeting he held with officials of the provincial agriculture department to firm up proposals for the issuance of Benazir Hari Cards to growers.

“Through these cards, farmers will be able to get benefits from various government schemes which will be announced from time to time,” said the chief executive. The meeting was told that the Sindh cabinet’s sub-committee on Hari cards had met on April 2, with the agriculture minister in chair. They reviewed and finalised the mechanism for issuing Benazir Hari Cards, and submitted detailed recommendations to the cabinet.

The members of the committee recommended that farmers be registered. They also recommended that the Sindh Bank and other commercial banks be engaged through direct contracts.

All agricultural landholders will be eligible to get Hari cards regardless of their landholding size. The process can commence by issuing cards to over 150,000 verified farmers under the Wheat Seed Cash Reimbursement Programme.

Farmers with valid documents, such as Form-VII verified by the revenue department, will be eligible to apply. Only one owner can register for jointly owned land, provided they produce a no-objection affidavit from other joint owners or heirs, as verified by Nadra and the Mukhtiarkar concerned.

Farmers with multiple landholdings will be eligible for one card with cumulative landholding. The agriculture department will engage top-notch human resource technology firms to develop the required software, apps and other digital infrastructure for the purpose.

He said that a robust, IT-based system with reliable backup support would facilitate the card registration process, clearly defining the roles and responsibilities at each stage of the process. He directed the agriculture department to reach out to landholders to collect information such as CNIC, addresses and other landholdings.

He also said the agriculture department and Board of Revenue officials would jointly visit farms, Deh by Deh, to geotag locations and verify the details entered in the app to be developed for this project.

The relevant assistant commissioner or deputy director will authenticate the farmer registration data and conduct random checks on entries from each Deh in their respective jurisdictions, he added.

The CM decided that the Benazir Hari Card functionality would be versatile, allowing farmers to make banking transactions (cash deposits and withdrawals, and balance checks and transfers) and access subsidies through ATMs.

Mazdoor Card

The CM on Wednesday also directed the Sindh Employees Social Security Institution (Sessi) to expedite the process of issuing Benazir Mazdoor Cards so that different pro-labour packages and incentives could be offered to the workers.

Presiding over a meeting of labour department officials, he said Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari was keen on uplifting the lifestyle of labourers by providing them with health facilities and special grants for education and marriage.

Shah told the meeting that the PPP chairman had directed him to give business incentives to the workers by providing them with small loans for starting their businesses.

The CM was told that there were around 800,000 workers in the province, and Sessi had signed an agreement with the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) to issue in the first phase 625,000 Benazir Mazdoor Cards, of which 150,000 had already been issued. The meeting was informed that another tranche of 250,000 cards would be issued by the end of June.