Friday, December 1, 2017

BISP complementing uplift package for Balochistan’s development: Marvi


GWADARBenazir Income Support Programme (BISP) Chairperson and State Minister Marvi Memon visited Gwadar on Thursday to check the progress made on Waseela-e-Taleem (WeT) programme in line with Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi’s uplift package for the development of Balochistan.

Under the newly-announced 10-year development package, all union councils in Balochistan would receive education, electricity, water, gas and health facilities. The federal government would provide 50 percent of the funds for the plan while the provincial government would finance the remaining half, said a press release.

During the visit, the BISP chairperson interacted with primary school students enrolled under BISP WeT programme and held meetings with the BISP Beneficiary Committees (BBC) and the local notables.

There are 60,000 BBCs, each comprising 25 to 30 women, across the country, she said, adding that BISP uses this platform to spread awareness among beneficiaries on education, nutrition, basic counting, the rights given to women by Islam and other local issues. In Balochistan, there are 2,018 BBCs while in Gwadar, there are 451 BBCs, she further said.

Memon further said that under the WeT initiative, BISP enrols children of ages between five and 12 into primary schools. The beneficiary families receive Rs750 per quarter per child, with the condition that the child maintains a 70 percent attendance, in addition to an unconditional cash transfer (UCT) of Rs4,834 per quarter.

In the meeting with the BBCs, the minister stated that BISP was complementing Prime Minister’s uplift package for Balochistan, adding that BISP was contributing not only to financial and educational uplift but also to nutrition, health and women empowerment.

She said that besides providing financial assistance to 195,145 beneficiaries, BISP had enrolled 33,320 children under WeT in Balochistan – 2,151 in Awaran, 13,166 in Gwadar, 8,472 in Jhal Magsi, 3,827 in Loralai, 1,009 in Musakhel and 4,695 children in Nushki. The chairperson congratulated the mother beneficiaries of Gwadar for enrolling the highest number of children in schools in Balochistan. She added that the expansion of WeT to four more districts in consultation with Balochistan education department would start in Kohlu, Naseerabad, Qilla Abdullah and Sherani from March 2018.

The BISP chairperson encouraged the beneficiaries to train themselves in basic counting so that they could be fully aware of the release, withdrawal and savings from their quarterly stipends. She said that Biometric Verification Systems (BVC) would soon be installed in the ATMs of the region to help overcome the difficulties faced by the beneficiaries in operating them.  She also urged them to benefit from the nutrition awareness campaign launched by BISP, saying that better nutrition led to better IQ levels, better education performance and ultimately better employment opportunities for children.

In order to increase their income and resolve the issue of unemployment, Memon urged the beneficiaries to save money from their BISP stipends and invest it into making traditional handicrafts and products like shawls. She said that the BISP e-commerce project was initiated to harness entrepreneurial potential of BISP’s beneficiaries by online marketing and selling their products through its partners including Alibaba, Cheezmall and TCS.

The BBC highlighted the problem of clean drinking water face by the community, in response of which Memon gave assurance that she would convey their concerns to the federal government and that their problems would soon be resolved.

In the meeting with local government representatives and notables including District Council Chairman Babu Gulab, District Council Vice Chairman Haji Inayat, Municipal Committee Chairman Abid Sohrabi, Municipal Committee Vice Chairman Maula Baksh and others, Memon said that the pilot of BISP resurvey had been completed in Naseerabad, Qila Saifullah and Kech, adding that the national rollout of resurvey including whole of Balochistan would start soon

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