ISLAMABAD: The Benazir Income Support Program (BISP) has achieved several milestones during the Fiscal Year 2022-23 to provide relief to those living below the poverty line through increasing its budgetary allocations and expanding the scope of different schemes including Benazir Kafalat, Benazir Nashonuma and Benazir Undergraduate Scholarship.
According to the performance report of BISP from FY April 2022-April 2023, the BISP budget was increased from Rs. 235 billion to Rs 400 billion during the period, registering a 70 percent increase.
The number of Benazir Kafalat program beneficiaries has increased from 7.6 million to nine million during this year. While the amount of Kafalat stipend has been increased from Rs 7000 per quarter to Rs. 8750 per quarter, registering a 25 per cent increase.
The present government has also included Transgender persons in the program without the conditions of poverty score. Under the Benazir Taleemi Wazaif program which aims at cash transferring to incentivize enrolment of children in schools, the number of enrolled children has been increased from 2.6 million to 7.1 million. The Benazir Nashonuma Program has been expanded from 15 pilot districts to 149 districts across the country while increasing the number of Facilitation Centers up to 487 during the period.
Benazir Nashonuma is an initiative of cash transfer to prevent stunting and malnutrition among children. Under this initiative, 0.52 million beneficiaries have been enrolled. The number of Benazir Scholarships for Undergraduates has been increased from 82,000 to 92,003 during the period. To mitigate the sufferings of flood-affected people, a total of Rs. 70 billion has been disbursed among 2.8 million beneficiaries (Rs. 25,000 per family).
Under the Fuel Subsidy initiative, Rs. 16.9 billion has been disbursed among 8.6 million families through giving Rs 2000 per family.
The program has also achieved the goal of transition from static to dynamic National Socio-Economic Registry (NSER) through establishing 600 registration centers. The NSER aims at real-time update of changes in socio-economic status of households.
11.8 million children enrolled under Benazir Taleemi Wazaif Programme so far: The Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) has so far enrolled 11.8 million children into schools through Benazir Taleemi Wazaif initiative.
According to an official source, a total of 3.0 million children had been enrolled under this scheme during July- March FY2023. So far, Rs 63.3 billion have been disbursed since inception of the Benazir Taleemi Wazaif initiative out of which Rs 23.4 billion have been disbursed during July to March, FY2023.
In pursuance of the commitment to provide Universal Primary Education as a part of SDGs, the government launched a Co-Responsibility Cash Transfer initiative for providing an additional cash per quarter to BISP beneficiary families in October, 2012 for Primary Education.
Since July 01, 2021, scope of the programme has been expanded from Primary to Secondary and Higher Secondary level and is currently operational all over the country. The overall objective of this initiative is to encourage education through regular cash transfers to invest in human capital development. B-form/ CRC verification through NADRA database is mandatory for the enrollment of child in the programme.
A beneficiary child must attend school or college for at least 70 percent of the school or college effective days within a quarter to receive cash transfers from second quarter and onwards. The stipends rates for the students are Rs 1,500 per quarter per boy, Rs 2,000 for girl student at primary level while Rs 2,500 and Rs 3,000 are being paid for boy and girl student respectively.
While for the Higher Secondary level, Rs. 3,500 and Rs. 4,000 are being paid to the boy and girl students respectively. The girls are also given one-time bonus of Rs. 3,000 on graduation of primary education. (APP)