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Our Staff Reporter

Dawn

Published Date: Aug 6, 2014

Baitul Maal being merged with income support programmes

ISLAMABAD: The government on Tuesday constituted a 10-member task force for improving effectiveness and outcome of social safety nets towards poverty reduction through the merger of income support programmes and Baitul Maal.

A notification issued by the finance ministry said the task force will determine if these programmes were optimally operated or overlapping in scope or work. The task force, it added, had been constituted in pursuance of Ishaq Dar’s budget speech.

The task force will formulate recommendations in three months and submit it to the government for approval and implementation.

Headed
by former caretaker minister Dr Sania Nishtar, the task force will comprise managing director of Baitul Maal, secretary Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), Dr G.M. Arif of Pakistan Institute of Deve­lop­ment Economics, social sector member of the Planning Commission, additional secretary each from finance ministry, cabinet and
establishment, Qazi Azmat Isa and Dr Abid Qayyum Suleri.

There had been criticism from within the government over few overlapping functions of Bait-ul-Mal and the BISP resulting in higher administrative
expenses and duplication of assistance by both organisations.

The
government had also given an undertaking to the International Monetary Fund to reforming the social safety nets for reducing poverty and providing cushion to the underprivileged against increasing electricity and gas tariffs, and general price shocks.

The finance minister had also said: “A large number of social safety-net programs are scattered across different ministries and departments and it is not evident if these programs are fully synergised with each other”.

Based
on the report of the task force a new policy will be formulated to allow more coordinated delivery of social safety-net services, he had stated.

Source : http://www.dawn.com/news/1123557/baitul-maal-being-merged-with-income-support-programmes