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BISP Board approves support for multiple social protection initiatives

By Our Correspondent
November 12, 2020

Islamabad : The 43rd meeting of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) Board was held here Wednesday with a vibrant discussion taking place, deep dive analysis being carried out, and important decisions being taken on an extensive 19-item agenda.

The meeting was chaired by the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Social Protection and Poverty Alleviation, Dr. Sania Nishtar. Secretary BISP Yusuf Khan, Secretary Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division Muhammad Ali Shahzada, Secretary Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination Ghufran Memon, Additional Secretary (Exp.) Finance Division, and representatives of NADRA and EAD attended the meeting. Amongst private sector members, Zaffar A. Khan, Qazi Azmat Isa and Khawar Mumtaz were also present, with members joining both physically and virtually.

The board deliberated upon expansion of Ehsaas Nashonuma, opening of mobile wallets for Ehsaas One Woman One Account initiative, establishment of Cyber Crime Control Wing, agreement with NADRA to ensure easy payments to next of kins under Ehsaas Kafaalat, constitution of steering committees for Ehsaas Nashonuma and Ehsaas Talemi-Wazaef, and accident insurance coverage for monitoring teams of Ehsaas Talemi-Wazaef.

The board approved expansion of Ehsaas Nashonuma from currently 9 to 12 districts. “Districts with the highest stunting rates are being included. For now, 22 Nashonuma Centers have opened in 9 districts. Overall, 52 Ehsaas Nashonuma centers will be established in 12 districts,” Dr. Sania announced.

The board also gave go ahead for Ehsaas One Woman One Account initiative to enable opening of mobile wallets for Ehsaas Kafaalat beneficiaries. “We will invest in financial literacy to promote uptake and enable individuals to escape poverty,” shared Dr. Sania.

Further, the board agreed to accelerate establishment of a Cyber Crime Control Wing to protect Ehsaas payments against cyber-attacks. Enabling real time validation of eligibility of next of kin appeals in Ehsaas Kafaalat, the board approved an agreement with NADRA to ensure that applications of next of kin of dead beneficiaries are processed quickly.

Other important decisions included approval for establishment of Steering Committees of Ehsaas Nashonuma and Ehsaas Talemi-Wazaef for oversight, policy enhancement and accountability, and accident insurance coverage for monitoring teams of Ehsaas Talemi-Wazaef.