Miniater seeks to streamline voice of Civil Society

By Adnan Rafique

ISLAMABAD: Minister for Planning, Development and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal on Tuesday called for developing a strong voice of the civil society and the common citizens in support of positive reforms especially in the education sector to ensure continuity of policies despite changes in the governments.
“Our civil society and citizens need to be given ownership of the reforms and the policies, if we can develop a strong voice of our citizens, they can probably guarantee that if there is political change, they can use their voice to tell the new government that we want to follow this policy and it should not be thrown out,” he said while addressing a two-day event titled “Decade of Learning” organized by the British High Commission Islamabad here.
Ahsan Iqbal recalled that he as a minister of planning had moved a Vision 2025 setting ambitious but achievable targets to be attained by 2025 but after the change of government, the new government has thrown the whole agenda out of the window.
He said the lack of stability and continuity of policies was one of the major challenges in Pakistan’s development process.
The minister said he was also in support of managing the education and health sectors are district level to promote professionalism in the sectors.
For this, he said each district should have a brilliant and highly professional person either from the government or from the private sector as a chief executive of the respective sectors.

‘Supporting disadvantaged segments govt’s top priority’

By Hina Kiyani

ISLAMABAD: Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety, Faisal Karim Kundi Wednesday said that supporting disadvantaged segments of society has always been a top priority of the present government.
He was speaking during a surprise visit to the Benazir One Window Center in Islamabad.
The SAPM visited the offices of various programs at the One Window Center run under the Benazir Income Support Program.
He also interacted with the beneficiaries of different schemes of BISP at the Center and addressed their concerns.
Speaking on the occasion, Faisal Kundi directed the staff not to compromise on the operations of the center.
He also saw the process of the dynamic registry which was recently inaugurated by the Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari.

He said that only those deserving persons are eligible to get register in the survey whose poverty score is below 32. Those having a poverty score over 32 cannot be included in the list of deserving.

The SAPM said that although this center is catering to the needs of a large number of populations and sometimes get overcrowded but the BISP team is managing to facilitate them in an efficient way.

He said that the strength of counters at the dynamic registry of BISP was also being enhanced while a 25 percent increase has been announced in the quarterly installment of Benazir Kafalat which would be implemented during the issuance of next installment.

Faisal Kundi reminded the beneficiaries that no one can deduct any fee while receiving the BISP quarterly installment.