December 25, 2018
ISLAMABAD: Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) Chairperson Dr Sania Nishtar on Sunday said there was a need to plug critical gaps in the programme and redesign the payment mechanism.
`BISP has many legacy issues which successive managements have strived to address. Several gaps have been plugged but many critical gaps remain to be closed.` She said the payment mechanism also needed redesigning.
In a press release, Dr. Nishtar said her immediate priority was to strengthen the BISP as a safety net. In this regard, a plan has been formulated to move ahead on two fronts: putting organisational governance in order by ensuring the new board is effectively and meaningfully engaged, and initiating a process to plug the critical gaps in the system.
There is also a need to strengthen fiduciary, financial management and procurement systems, internal control and capacity and system for planning.
`My priority is to institutionalise risk management, transparency and a culture of evidence-based decision making.
Dr Nishtar said she had a vision for the future as well, from safety net to universal protection so that it would be possible to develop targeted policy interventions and deliver precise means tested benefits to the poor and vulnerable by employing data analytics and tracking real-time information about the evolution of the beneficiary status.
She said the step would enable time-bound support for income stabilisation and protection against catastrophic shocks and the creation of economic opportunities to decrease welfare dependency, through relevant partnerships.
This would also move Pakistan closer to delivering on its global commitment to Sustainable Development Goal 1.3, which entails `[developing] nationally appropriate social protection systems and measures for all.
A strategic planning process will commence at the board meeting on Dec 24 with a view to commencing action in these areas. (courtesy Dawn)