A Message from the Prime Minister of Pakistan, His Excellency Shahid Khaqan Abbasi
“There can be no notion of economic development, social advancement or national prosperity without inclusion. Nor can any society have peace and stability without equity. International development experience of the twentieth century has persuasively shown that citizens living on the fringes of subsistence cannot be left to social benevolence or expectations of a trickledown effect that seldom eventualises. For this reason, ensuring distributive justice is seen as an inherent obligation of the government. While universalistic welfare provision has its own logic, means-tested poverty alleviation interventions have critical impact on the lives of the poorest of the poor.”
It is with this in view that the present government has progressively increased the financial allocation for BISP from Rs.58.006 billion in the Revised Budget for FY 2012-13 to Rs.121.000 billion in the Budget for FY 2017-18. It is also a matter of immense satisfaction that the number of beneficiary families has increased from 1.7 million to 5.4 million over the same period.
However, there is also as serious caveat: income safety nets must not be allowed to become poverty traps through dependency on cash transfers. The ultimate objective of residual public provision must always be to enhance the earning potential of recipients – through, for instance, education, skills development and expanded opportunities – and thereby to lift them out of poverty permanently. It is this more significant and enduring aspect of income support that we are now focused on.
Prime Ministers Profile
Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi has a 29-year experience of mainstream politics and is a foreign-qualified Electrical Engineer. He holds Master’s degree from George Washington University, USA and a bachelor degree in the same discipline from University of California, Los Angeles besides his early education in Karachi and Murree.
The 58-year-old he was nominated by Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz as its candidate for the slot of Prime Minister after the Supreme Court disqualified Nawaz Sharif on July 28, 2017. He was the Petroleum Minister in his cabinet. He entered politics in 1988 after the death of his father, Khaqan Abbasi, an air commodore of Pakistan Air Force and a Minister in the cabinet of General Zia ul Haq. He has been elected six times as Member of National Assembly from Rawalpindi District, from 1988 till 2013.
Earlier he held position as Parliamentary Secretary for Defence in 1990, Chairman of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Defence in 1993, Chairman of Pakistan International Airlines from 1997 to 1999 besides briefly holding positions of Commerce Minister and Defence Production Minister in Yousuf Raza Gilani’s Government in 2008.