Expand poverty alleviation schemes: IMF

Pakistan-global lender talks for new bailout continue for 4th day

Our Correspondent May 17, 2024


The IMF pressed Pakistan to expand its poverty alleviation efforts during ongoing negotiations for a new loan program.

The demand came as negotiations between Pakistan and the IMF review mission for a new loan programme continued for the fourth day.

The IMF delegation called for further expansion of poverty alleviation and social protection programmes.

Specifically, the IMF delegation urged the government to enhance the coverage and transparency of the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) while improving its administrative efficiency.

They also called for increased funding for cash transfer programs targeting the poor.

According to sources, the IMF emphasised that the budget of cash transfer to the pro-poor programmes should be enhanced as much as possible.

Briefing the IMF mission, the Pakistani officials said Rs472 billion would be spent on the BISP this year.
They assured that BISP beneficiaries would be shielded from future electricity tariff hikes through the cash transfer scheme.

The IMF delegation was told that the target was to include 20 million households in a fully functional registry by September this year.

The officials further told the IMF review mission that that the number of BISP beneficiaries had hit 9.3 million.

They continued that 300,000 more families had been included in the Kafalat Programme this year.
Besides, 900,000 families have been registered in the health cash transfer programme.

The official further told the global lender’s delegation that 1.9 million children had been included in the education cash transfer programme.

They added that more funds would be allocated for social security programmes in the next financial year.


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