Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety and Chairperson Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) Shazia Marri on Friday said that the masses are bearing the burden of inflation caused due to poor policies of the previous government during the last four years.
Addressing a press conference along with Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Faisal Karim Kundi, she said that inflation cannot be controlled in a day as it needed consistency of economic policies. Marri said that the first year of the government had been challenging which included economic, political and climate change crises. “Our government was taking several steps to improve the economic condition of the masses. Our preference is public and we are aware of their issues.” She said that the legislature and government would have to sustain the supremacy of the Constitution and the sanctity of the parliament.
She said the last year’s flood severely affected millions of people in the country which created a huge loss of property and crops. Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif had allocated Rs 70 billion for the support of people of flood-hit areas through BISP. This aid covered around 2.8 million families. Under this initiative Rs 25,000 were distributed among each affected family, she added. She further informed that the BISP had also distributed a huge number of food nutrition sachets of Rs one billion from its own budget among pregnant women and infants to meet their food deficiency in flood-hit areas.
BISP was also working with the government of Sindh to award subsidies on wheat seeds. Meanwhile, financial support was given to around 186,000 small farmers in flood-affected areas, she added. She said that the BISP budget has been increased from Rs 235 billion to 400 billion with a ratio of 70 per cent increase. The number of needy families under BISP had increased to 09 million. “Similarly, BISP Nashonuma Coverage Programme was started in 15 districts in 2014 as a pilot programme. Later the initiative extended to 156 districts across the country. Today a total of 472 centres were working across the country under this initiative”.
The government was making all possible efforts to support the needy families of the society, she said, adding, “We have started a Dynamic Registry Survey Facility which is free of cost for each and every citizen. Through the Dynamic Registry initiative, the speedy increase in registration process was seen”. Shazia also informed that transgenders were also being included in this programme because they were victims of social, and economic challenges in society. “Deserving she-males can take benefit from BISP now. Those transgenders who have already registered with NADRA are included in the BISP programme. She said there was no condition of PMT for transgenders, and urged them to register themselves from NADRA and their concerned tehsil to get benefit from this scheme”.
Federal Minister said that the government had awarded a subsidy on the fuel of Rs 16.7 billion (Rs 2000 for each family) among 8.6 million needy families across the country. Later, Faisal Karim Kundi said that we have to sustain the supremacy of the Constitution. Pakistan People’s Party had given a constitution to this country but unfortunately, Zulifqar Bhutto had been martyred. Parliament played the role of mother of all institutions, he said adding that we have to find a solution to all problems of the country. He said that the dialogue was the only solution to the current challenges being faced by the country. In that regard, a three-member committee has been established headed by former prime minister Yusaf Raza Gilani.