Government of Pakistan
Benazir Income Support Programme
8th July, 2019
BISP BEING TRANSFORMED INTO A RULE AND MERIT BASED EFFICIENT ORGANIZATION, SAYS DR. SANIA NISHTAR DURING 33RD BISP BOARD MEETING
The 33rdboard meeting was held in BISP headquarters chaired by Chairperson BISP Dr Sania Nishtar. The meeting was attended by other Board members namely, Mr. Ali Raza Bhutta, Secretary BISP, Mr. Qazi Azmat Isa, Ms Khawar Mumtaz, Mr. Atif Bajwa, Mr. Zafar A Khan and representatives from the Ministry of Finance, Economic Affairs Division, NADRA and the Ministry of Inter Provincial Coordination. This was the fourth board meeting in a period of eight months since the new chair of the board has been appointed.
During the meeting, Chairperson assured her commitment for transparency, accountability and merit for bringing improvements in the Programme. She said that BISP Board and Management have taken proactive action for devising systems to transform BISP into a rule and merit based efficient organization.
The board discussed in detail the agenda items including Budget for the fiscal year 2019-20 and recommendations of various committees of the board. The recommendations included concept note on “Tahafuz Program”, expansion of Waseela-e-Taleem Program, proposal on enhancement of girl’s stipend, integrated data and Information Management database for social protection and setting up of policy and research unit.
“We have empowered board sub-committees and have facilitated their convening so that agendas are well prepared and are brought to the board after thorough discussion in board sub-committees”, Sania Nishtar explained “The board is fully engaged in exercising oversight and decision making as envisaged in the law” she said. The Board also instructed the management to fast track the process of appointing external auditors to conduct the financial audit for the year 2018/19. Sania Nishtar appraised the Board about the recently held meeting of the Risk Assurance Committee of the Board and elaborated on the “Risk Register” Mechanism introduced in BISP. “There will be a special meeting of the board to review the risk mitigating mechanisms and safeguards against error fraud and corruption shortly” she said. She further explained that BISP will be one of the first agencies in government to have a systematic and modern mechanism to identify and address risks. This, she said, is a significant step towards proactive modernization of public sector organizations
Dr. Sania Nishter informed the Board that in her capacity of Special Assistant to the Prime Minister, she has issued detailed governance related instructions to build systems and improve transparency and accountability in all organizations coming under the new Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Division. Her instructions encompass the practices developed in the private sector and in modern public management. She expressed her hope to transform these organizations into highly efficient units delivering on the vision of the government.
The Chairperson briefed the Board on the Ehsaas programme of the Prime Minister and the roles assigned to BISP in the programme. She informed the Board about the modalities of the Kifalat programme of unconditional cash transfers to women and the paradigm change being introduced through the financial inclusion agenda and the significant operational improvements that are being made to benefit beneficiaries. In addition to this, its education conditional cash transfer programme would be expanded under Ehsaas and a new health and nutrition programme is being designed. Ehsaas would also include a shock-oriented demand based precision safety net to protect the most marginalized families from catastrophic health related expenditures. This programme would be named “Tahafuz”.
The Board gave approval to the National Socio-Economic Registry (NSER) manual to further streamline the processes under the ongoing NSER survey. The survey will update the current database of the beneficiaries. Similarly approval was given to various amendments in the Payments manual. The amendments provide procedures for payment of stipends to beneficiaries whose hands are amputated or whose fingerprints are faded. Biometric verification through NADRA of such beneficiaries are not possible. With these transparent and rigorous processes such eligible beneficiaries will be able to receive their stipends.
BISP Board resolved to contribute to the objectives of Ehsaas through efficient, effective, impartial and apolitical reorganization of BISP along modern management principles and using the best available technological and human resources.