Four years of Democratic Government


 BISP is the first ever mega initiative of direct cash transfer to the poor women and their families in Pakistan’s history. It is in fact the marshal plan of the Government for women empowerment and poverty alleviation. It is in line with PPP manifesto that the growing gap between the rich and the poor must be bridged by supporting the under privileged, the downtrodden and the discriminated.

 BISP was initiated with an outlay of 34 billion for the year 2008-2009 and it was almost doubled to Rs.70 billion in 2009-2010.

Under the BISP component called “Waseela-e-Haq, approximately 747 families are provided Rs.300,000 each through computerized draw. The money so advanced will be repayable in 15 years without any additional mark-up. Smart Cards are being issued for transparent and fast distribution of payment money in districts where initial survey has been completed.

Poverty Scorecard Survey Poverty Census undertaken in the entire country with the following features:

    • Largest and most reliable data bank of socio-economic conditions of the country for planning social, health and education policies and strategies
    • First ever census of its kind in South Asia
    • Covered almost 27 million households
    • Use of GPS devices to map the data of the entire country for informed decision making (to cope with natural disasters and other emergencies)
    • Survey in FATA – 3 agencies (Bajaur, Kurram and Mohmand) already surveyed while survey in other 4 agencies in progress

BISP has simultaneously launched an “exit strategy” to help its recipients “graduate” out of extreme poverty. This includes the launch of programes:

    • Waseela-e-Haq: for provision of interest free loans to help the recipients set up small businesses
    • Waseela-e-Rozgar: for provision of technical and vocational education to the recipients; and
    • Waseela-e-Sehet: for the provision of life and health insurance cover. The total number of families with life cover of Rs 100,000 is over 2 million at present while remaining families are also being extended this facility.


BISP has received additional financing from the World Bank of $ 150 Million to launch the primary education of 3 million children of recipient families

Electronic Modes of Payment

To further improve the efficiency and transparency of payments to the recipients, BISP has launched the following e-payments mechanisms:

o   Benazir Smart Cards: in four districts (Mianwali, Mirpurkhas, Multan and Sanghar). So far almost 180,000 cards have been distributed and a sum of Rs. 2.7 billion has been disbursed to recipients.

o   Benazir Debit Card: BISP is presently expanding the use of Debit Cards to over 100 districts which would be covered fully by June 30, 2012.

o   Mobile Phone Banking: also been launched in 5 districts (Larkana, Layyah, Battagram, Islamabad and Rawalpindi) while it will soon be launched in another 3 districts (Poonch, Ghanche and Barkhan). So far over 120,000 mobile phones have been distributed among the recipients who have received Rs. 1.3 billion.

BISP: Key Features


                        A measure to compensate low-income families for reduction of purchasing power

              A cash grant of Rs.2000 every alternate month

                        Only one beneficiary per family

                        Female head of family or adult female member of the family to be a recipient


                        Allocation for 2008-2009: Rs.34 billion

                        ~ 0.3% of GDP

                        Target coverage (3.5 million families) ~ 15% of the population

                        Allocation for 2009-2010: Rs.70 billion

                        Target beneficiary families for 2009-2010: 5 million

                        Plans over the medium-term to extend coverage to 7 million families by 2010-2011


Eligibility Criteria

                        Monthly income less than Rs.6000

                        No family member in Government service

                        Possession of no or less than three acres of agricultural land or up to 3 marlas residential property

                        Possession of Computerized National Identity Card (CNIC)

                        Should not be beneficiary of other support programs

                        Should not have an account with a foreign bank

                        Should not possess a passport or an Overseas Pakistani identity card


                        Identification of applicants/recipients through democratically-elected Parliamentarians

                        Equal number of forms distributed to each Parliamentarian

                        Attestation by local level representatives of Parliamentarians and Union Councilors

                        Screening/verification of basic criteria through checks with National Database and Registration Authority (NADRA)

                        Cost effective and quick targeting process

Benefits Level

                        A cash grant of Rs.2000 every alternate month

                        Rs.1000=20% increase in income for family earning Rs.5000 per month

                        At prevalent prices Rs.1000 payout is sufficient to finance 20-25 days’ flour needs of a family with 5-6 individuals

                        Rs.1000 per month not a labor disincentive – only women family member is recipient

Payment Mechanism

                        Postal Money Orders of Rs.2000 every alternate month through Pakistan Post

                        Accessibility and affordability main advantages

                        System also reliable and safe

Monitoring of Payments

                        Internal monitoring mechanisms of Pakistan Post Department

                        External Monitoring through BISP Provincial and Regional Offices

                        Pakistan Post reports monthly (electronically) to BISP on payments, with list/addresses of houses and name of postman making the delivery

                        Eligibility and Payment status available on BISP website

Implementation Status

                        Forms Processing Status by NADRA

                        Total Forms Processed: 3,736,914

                        Total Eligible: 2,122,038

                        Total Ineligible:  496,927

                        Total in Process:    50,600

                        Total Withheld: 1,067,349

Special Initiatives of BISP

Emergency Relief Package launched for IDPs from FATA and Swat due to operations against terrorists; earthquake-affected districts of Balochistan province; and victims of bomb blasts and terrorism.

BISP Reform Plan

                              Test phase of Poverty Scorecard Survey

                              Nationwide rollout of Survey

                              Phased transition of benefits to families identified through PMT based targeting

                              Expansion/addition of complementary programs Graduation/Exit Strategy

Test Phase Survey-Improved Targeting

                              Poverty Scorecard adopted

                              Three survey organizations

                              Approximate number of households: 2.5 million

                              NADRA to handle the data entry, validation and verification

                              Apply Proxy Means Testing formula through an MIS

                              A cut-off score to be decided by Government based on the pilot results and funds availability

Test Phase Survey-Improved Targeting

                              Survey of households in 16 districts in all four provinces and AJK/GB

                              Districts selected on the basis of poverty level, presence of survey organization, accessibility and law & order situation

                              Process evaluation and spot check consultants appointed to ensure the quality

                              Formulation of transition strategy for beneficiaries

Test Phase-implementation Status

                              Enumeration/data collection

                              Completed in five districts in June 2009 by first partner

                              Completed by end-July 2009 in five districts by second partner

                              Completed by mid-August 2009 in six districts by third partner

                              Data Entry, Validation/Verification and Case Management

                              MIS being developed by NADRA

                              Data processing completion expected by end-August

                              Payments in pilot districts under new targeting to start from September 2009

Nationwide Rollout of Survey

                              Based on lessons learnt from Test Phase, plan for national rollout to be prepared

                              Target: completion of survey throughout the country by end of 2010

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