190913 Bilawal Bhutto
Bilawal Bhutto Image Credit: APP

Karachi: The federal government has announced to increase by 25 per cent the financial assistance package paid every quarter to the poor under its flagship poverty alleviation drive.

The announcement to this effect was made by Foreign Minister, Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, while speaking at an event held to mark the linking up of the database of Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), the government’s flagship poverty alleviation initiative, with the National Database and Registration Authority. As of now over 8 million destitute families in the country receive a quarterly stipend of Rs 7,500 under the BISP.

Bilawal expressed gratitude to Prime Minister, Shehbaz Sharif, for his decision to increase BISP’s assistance package by 25 per cent despite the prevailing economic crisis in the country. He said that this increase would mitigate the economic sufferings of the deprived families caused due to unprecedented inflation.

Bilawal mentioned that the concerned global donor agencies had acknowledged the transparency maintained by BISP to financially empower downtrodden communities in Pakistan as they had expressed the desire to become a helping hand in the same campaign.

He recalled that former president Asif Ali Zardari in 2008 had envisaged the BISP to help out the destitute families in the country as per the vision of former prime minister, Benazir Bhutto.

He told the audience that initially the bureaucracy and several intellectuals had opposed the allocation of public money for such a welfare initiative but later on, they had also realised the exceptional utility of the programme.

He expressed the resolve of the Pakistan People’s Party to continue with its fight against poverty and unemployment in the country as under the same drive the number of BISP beneficiaries would be increased.

Sindh Chief Minister, Syed Murad Ali Shah, said that some 2.3 million families alone in his province were the beneficiaries of the BISP.

He said that some 1.2 million educational scholarships had been awarded to children belonging to the families that were the beneficiaries of the BISP.

He told the audience that some 136,000 deserving women were enrolled to get treatment services at 107 special health units in the province under the BISP.