Pakistan’s SBP Launches Program to Facilitate Social Welfare Payments

pakistan's sbp launches program to facilitate social welfare payments

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) made a plan to help people in the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) get their welfare money easily. They made rules for BISP beneficiaries to open bank accounts in any bank or microfinance bank.

The SBP worked with BISP and banks to make these rules.

According to the plan, around 9.3 million BISP beneficiaries can open a special bank account called “BISP Sahulat Account” in a nearby bank branch. The BISP matched each beneficiary with a bank nearby.

Since there are a lot of beneficiaries, the plan will happen in stages. First, they will try it out in Karachi and Lahore with about 300,000 people. If it works well there, they will do it in other cities too, with help from BISP.

The SBP thinks this plan will make it easier and fairer to give welfare money to BISP beneficiaries, help more women use banks, and make banking more digital.

Some people criticized BISP for using money badly. But the government thinks it’s still important for people who can’t afford everyday things. So, they’re trying to stop money from being wasted.

To help BISP beneficiaries get their money in bank accounts, the SBP told banks and microfinance banks to open accounts for them. They’ll start with a trial in Karachi and Lahore. If it works, they’ll do it in other cities too. BISP will send the money to these accounts electronically.

The banks will train their staff to help BISP beneficiaries with their accounts and getting their money. They’ll also cover the costs of opening and maintaining the accounts. But if someone needs a new ATM card before the old one expires, BISP will pay for that.

However, these accounts won’t have chequebooks or online banking.