Minister of State and Chairperson BISP Marvi Memon has said today is a special day that reminds us of Iqbal’s vision, the historic struggle and firm resolve of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah that led to the creation of Pakistan.
The government was fully committed to fulfill Quaid’s vision of a welfare state. To fullfil this aim, the PML-N government increased the BISP budgets manifold during the past few years and initiated various social protection initiatives following its development manifesto.
These views were expressed by the minister in a talk on the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) targeting mechanism organized by BISP here at a local hotel on Thursday where Dr Kate Vyborny from Duke University USA presented her paper on ‘Reforming Institutions In Pakistan: Evidence from cash transfer in Pakistan’.
Marvi said in the recent years, the government had introduced various institutional reforms to improve service delivery and for transparent allocation of public spending.
The chairperson BISP added at present, the BISP ranks at number five in the world in terms of targeting and selection on the basis of 2010-11 survey. The BISP management was making all out efforts to clinch the top position in the ongoing survey for National Socio-Economic Registry (NSER) update, she added.
This time, poverty score card had been revised and new indicators on chronic diseases, skill trainings, gender description and employment status had been added that would further refine the Proxy Means Test (PMT), she said.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Kate presented evidence that shift to the Proxy Means Test (PMT) based targeting drastically reduced clan/biradiri-based partonage and increased representation of the BISP recipients from villages other than those of politicians who were in the ruling party. The post-PMT targeting reduced the inclusion error through favourtisim and, therefore, was instrumental in dramatically improved public perceptions of the program’s legitimacy. The impartiality of the programme helped it survive transition to a new party in power, unlike previous social assistance programs.
In the meeting which was also widely attended by the provincial government representatives, including ministers, past uses of BISP’s National Socio-Economic Registry (NSER) were shared. Possible future initiatives, where the updated BISP’s NSER could be used, were identified in the areas of school enrollment, women empowerment, rural poverty alleviation programmes, higher education, agriculture and health.
The participants also stressed on the two-way communication between the BISP and social sector departments in the province.