President Asif Ali Zardari on Monday said the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), which has been widely endorsed and supported internationally, will be expanded further and its 2nd phase would be completed during the next five years, if PPP returned to power.
Under the second phase of BISP, additional local and international institutions, including banks, will be taken on board as the partners and scope of this programme will be widened by introducing more income support schemes for the social and economic uplift of the country, he said.
The president was addressing a gathering of thousands of beneficiaries of Waseela-e-Haq and Waseela-e-Rozgar initiatives of the BISP, at the Bilawal House.
PPP Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari, Aseefa Bhutto Zardari, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah, BISP Chairperson Farzana Raja, members of BISP Board of Directors, Speaker of Sindh Assembly Nisar Ahmed Khuhro, Federal and Sindh Ministers, MNAs, MPAs, other leaders and office bearers of PPP, senior officers of central and provincial governments, vice chancellors of universities and members of the academia and educationists were also present.
President Zardari directed Farzana Raja to enhance the skills of the trainees/graduates of BISP’s Waseela-e-Rozgar initiative for making them sell in international market.
“Today, I am giving a new task to Madam Farzana. Please, make these trainees exportable. It is not sufficient to give them only training but we would have to arrange jobs for them,” he asserted.
He said Waseela-e-Haq, Waseela-e-Rozgar, Waseela-e-Taaleem initiatives are parts of BISP’s long-term strategy to help out the poorest of the poor in the country, adding that there is a vast scope of this programme.
For the first time in the history of Pakistan, such a programme was indigenously designed and launched which was endorsed and approved by international donor institutions, he added.
In the past, international donors used to make these programmes and we had to approve. The BISP was designed after thorough study of various models of socio-economic programmes successfully executed by different countries and made it in agreement with our social and economic conditions, he added.
President Zardari sought cooperation and support from the public to make BISP a big success for the nation.
On this occasion, he congratulated the BISP chairperson and the graduates/trainees completing their training under Waseela-e-Rozgar initiative.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 8th, 2013.