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Senate Committee on Poverty Alleviation Discusses Enhancements in Social Safety Programs

Islamabad: The Senate Standing Committee on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety, chaired by Senator Sardar Al Haj Muhammad Umer Gorgaij, convened at the Parliament House to assess and enhance the operational efficacy of various social safety programs under the Ministry of Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety.

According to Senate of Pakistan, the meeting brought together Senator Abdul Shakoor Khan, Senator Jaan Muhammad, Senator Dost Ali Jeesar, Senator Rubina QaimKhani, and senior officials from the Ministry, along with representatives from the associated departments. The committee reviewed the functionality and recent achievements of the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), Pakistan Bait ul Mal, Pakistan Poverty Alleviation Fund (PPAF), and Trust for Voluntary Organizations (TVO). A notable highlight was the National Poverty Graduation Programme (NPGP), a collaborative initiative with the International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), designed to uplift economically challenged individuals through financial support and training in 21 districts, with an investment of USD 132.6 million.

During the session, concerns were raised about the allocation of funds for Balochistan, with approximately 650,000 to 700,000 families eligible for support. The committee recommended increasing the fund allocation for Balochistan, considering the high poverty rates in the region. Additionally, discussions were held regarding the operational mechanisms of BISP, including improvements in beneficiary payments through partnerships with six new banks and localized distribution strategies to enhance transparency.

The meeting also addressed the vacancy in the key position of Managing Director at Bait ul Mal, which has been unfilled for over eight months. The committee strongly urged the government to expedite this appointment to ensure the continued effectiveness of social safety measures.