What Is Benazir kafalat program?
The Unconditional Cash Transfers (UCT) program, also known as the “Benazir Kafaalat Program,” serves as the cornerstone initiative of BISP. It was inaugurated in 2008 and has since evolved into Pakistan’s largest single cash transfer program. Its initial aim was to offer immediate relief to the vulnerable, particularly women, in the face of slow economic growth, food crises, and inflation by providing cash assistance to eligible families.
The program’s long-term goals align with eradicating extreme and chronic poverty and promoting women’s empowerment, aligning with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Currently, BISP extends cash assistance to approximately 9 million families through the Benazir Kafaalat program. Starting at Rs. 3,000 per beneficiary per quarter, the present stipend provided under the Benazir Kafaalat program has increased to Rs. 8,500 per beneficiary per quarter.
Eligibility Criteria for Benazir KAFAALAT Programme
Recipients of the “Benazir Kafaalat Programme” are determined using a scientific method called the Proxy Means Test (PMT), which relies on data from the National Socio-Economic Registry NSER survey. The PMT assesses the welfare status of households on a scale from 0 to 100, and eligibility for assistance is determined based on a PMT cut-off score established by the BISP Board, taking into account available fiscal resources.
Families meeting or exceeding the approved PMT cut-off score receive cash assistance through the Benazir Kafaalat Programme. As of its 52nd meeting on September 23, 2021, the BISP Board approved a PMT cut-off score of 32. However, for households with a differently abled member, the eligibility PMT cut-off score is set at 37.
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Inclusion of Transgender In BENAZIR Kafaalat Programme
BISP’s Board recently endorsed a policy that extends cash assistance to transgender individuals under the Benazir Kafaalat Programme. To qualify, transgender individuals must possess CNICs issued by NADRA that clearly indicate their gender as transgender. The survey is conducted at Benazir Registration Centers, which are located in every BISP Tehsil Office. However, the PMT cut-off restrictions are relaxed for transgender individuals, meaning that all successfully surveyed transgender individuals are eligible to apply for inclusion in the program.
As soon as NADRA validates and verifies transgender information, they are officially designated as beneficiaries, and can start receiving cash assistance through BISP’s partner banks.
A Biometric Verification System (BVS) is used to ensure that cash assistance is disbursed to eligible recipients of Benazir Kafaalat: HBL in Punjab, Sindh, and Baluchistan, and Bank Alfalah in KP, GB, and AJK.
Benazir kafalat program Grievance Redressal Mechanism
We have established an effective Grievance Redressal Mechanism to address a variety of complaints and ensure their timely resolution. This mechanism is seamlessly integrated with our partner banks to expedite the tracking and resolution of issues. To file a complaint, beneficiaries should contact their nearest Tehsil office of BISP or call the toll-free helpline at BISP HQs in Islamabad (0800-26477).
In addition to our regular program, BISP also extends support through emergency programs as part of our shock response initiatives. Some of the emergency programs implemented by BISP include:
- Special Relief Package for Populations Living along the Line of Control (LOC) in AJ&K
- Emergency Cash Assistance Program for COVID-19 Affectees (Phase I & II)
- Harnai Earthquake Relief Program
- Emergency Relief Package for Tirah Valley, Khyber District, KPK
- Shock Response – Targeted Petroleum Subsidy Program
- Emergency Cash Disbursement to Flood Affectees in 2022
- Subsidy for Wheat Seed (Rabi 2022-23) – (Activity in progress)
Furthermore, BISP is actively developing new initiatives and programs to enhance the positive impact of cash assistance on the impoverished and vulnerable. These upcoming initiatives and programs include:
- Financial Inclusion and Financial Literacy Programs
- Hybrid Social Protection Program
- New Payment Model
BISP has implemented a next-of-kin policy to support families of deceased beneficiaries. This policy enables the legal heirs of a deceased beneficiary’s family to continue benefiting from the program through a carefully structured appeal process. In the unfortunate event of a beneficiary’s passing, the family is required to submit essential documents (including the deceased’s CNIC, a CNIC cancellation certificate from NADRA, a death certificate from the union council, and the CNICs of family members) at the nearest BISP Tehsil Office.
After due processing, the family members recognized as next-of-kin according to BISP’s policy will commence receiving payments.”
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