Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) New Payment Model
The federal minister for poverty alleviation and social security, Shazia Marri, has announced the release of the names of disqualified beneficiaries of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP). The former government had filtered socioeconomic data and decided to exclude these individuals from the program. Now, she is revising the list and considering a new approach. She spoke at a press conference with Pakistan Peoples Party Information Secretary Faisal Karim Kundi.
The Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) has signed contracts with Habib Bank Alfalah for the operationalization of biometric verification-based payment solutions. These payment solutions will be loaded with advanced security features to effectively manage fraud in the disbursement system. These new payment solutions will enable the beneficiaries to receive their benefits easily without the involvement of agents. Here are some of the highlights of the new payment model.
The BISP has done a thorough analysis of the availability of POS and ATM services for its beneficiaries. BISP’s assessment has revealed the deficiencies of partner banks in establishing POSs and ATMs in the beneficiary areas. Therefore, BISP is working with banks to expand their network of ATMs and POS agents. The BISP has made significant improvements in contract management and has reduced its service charges from 4% to 2.75% in Smart Card and BDC cases.
After the current government comes to power, BISP beneficiaries will receive a new payment in the coming months. The new programme will help women save their money safely instead of keeping it in their homes, and will make payments easier and more convenient. According to the Federal Minister for Social Security and Poverty Alleviation, Shazia Marri, disqualification of beneficiaries during the previous government is under review. In addition, the government is also reviewing the names of disqualified beneficiaries based on unjust socioeconomic data filters.
In 2010, the BISP began issuing BISP smart cards to eligible beneficiaries. The program also relied on the work of NADRA to identify the rightful beneficiaries. The process is transparent, and payments are made to beneficiaries through partner banks. Initially, BISP distributed cash grants to households using phone to phone banking. This process involved giving out cell phones to beneficiaries at a NADRA counter. They received their cash grant via SMS, and then transferred it to a BISP mobile phone.
BISP smart card
The BISP Board has approved the new payment model, which has many benefits for both banks and beneficiaries. This model includes multiple withdrawal options, biometric ATMs, branches, agents, door step delivery, and fully integrated complaint management. The New Payment Model also encourages banks to push payments directly to beneficiaries, eliminating banking floats and introducing a sliding scale commission. The new payment system will make payments more transparent and efficient, and will improve the overall experience for beneficiaries.
The core of the BISP is the Unconditional Cash Transfers Programme (UCTP). This program provides a minimum income support package to the poorest people in the country, with the aim of preventing them from experiencing future economic shocks. As such, this new payment mechanism should address some of the problems identified by the beneficiaries. For example, illiterate beneficiaries may have trouble using the card, or may have a hard time using it to make withdrawals. In such cases, a middleman may make a commission and charge a fee on the withdrawals, thus limiting their use.
BISP unconditional cash transfer component
The BISP programme is made up of two components – an unconditional cash transfer programme and a conditional cash transfer component, which incentivizes beneficiaries to improve their education and health. Both components have their own set of complementary initiatives, which are aimed at achieving the same end. The programme has disbursed over Rs 563 billion to 5.6 million households, which constitute approximately 17 percent of Pakistan’s total population. It claims credit for reducing poverty by seven percentage points.
The BISP unconditional cash transfer component is aimed at reducing poverty among the poorest people in the country. It is based on the kernel triangular method, which measures the impact of cash transfers on socioeconomic conditions. In contrast, the unconditional cash transfer component of the programme has no impact on the MPI or the wellbeing of the ultra-poor and the severe multidimensional poor. Moreover, BISP cash transfer has little or no impact on the consumption level of recipient households.
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