Social protection

It is quite commendable that the federal government is not only committed to supporting the poor and the most vulnerable segments of the population but has also been taking appreciable measures in this regard. It has not only retained Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) without changing its nomenclature whatsoever but has also been increasing allocations for it every year to ensure more and more poor families get some financial assistance. Social security safety expenditure has been substantially increased by more than 300 per cent through the four budgets of the present government.
According to figures available in this respect, significant expansion has been effected in the allocation for the BISP and it has been enhanced to Rs. 115 billion during current financial year against Rs. 40 billion in fiscal 2013 and this higher allocation has resulted in increasing the number of families covered under BISP from 3.7 million to 5.45 million now. It is also good to note that along side increasing allocations for ensuring more families draw benefit from it, the annual stipend has also been enhanced from Rs. 12 thousand to Rs. 19336 during the ongoing tenure of the present government and so far more than Rs. 299 billion have been disbursed to the poorest families as unconditional cash transfers.
Appreciating all this, it is suggested that the recently published book of BISP success stories besides English and Urdu languages, should also be got translated and published in all regional languages and freely distributed throughout the country so that more and more poor needy people become aware about BISP and can benefit from this social protection step of federal government. Any good step taken for welfare and well-being of people at large should duly be appreciated and supported irrespective of which govt is doing that.
Momina Bilal
Lahore

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