President Asif Ali Zardari has advised the government to facilitate pensioners by streamlining the pension disbursement mechanism to facilitate the disabled and elderly, a press release stated. According to a National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA) spokesperson, NADRA intends to launch two phases: a ‘Biometric Verification System’ and a ‘Pension Disbursement Program’. In the first phase, bio-metric smart cards will be issued which will allow pensioners to visit any bio-metric enabled ATM where their fingerprints will be scanned before disbursement of their pension. Pensioners drawing less than Rs 10,000 per month will be provided free smart cards. In the second phase, the disabled will be given their pension at their residence. The NADRA chairman has been directed to submit proposals concerning these phases by August 14.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 29th, 2012.