ISLAMABAD, Sept 17: The government on Monday formed a high-level committee to develop an electronic banking system for prompt and problem free disbursement of pensions to millions of pensioners.
The five-member committee, comprising of National Database Registration Authority (Nadra) Chairman Tariq Malik, Governor State Bank of Pakistan Yaseen Anwar, Secretary Finance Abdul Wajid Rana, Auditor General of Pakistan Buland Akhtar Rana, was constituted during a briefing held at the presidency.During the briefing, chaired by President Asif Ali Zardari, that a requirement for the pensioners to produce a certificate that they were alive was creating unnecessary inconvenience to them especially the disabled ones and needed to be addressed on priority.
“The briefing was continuation of the meeting held earlier on the subject in last week of July wherein all the concerned were invited to discus the proposed mechanism and present their point of views for putting in place an efficient system of pension disbursement,” said President’s Spokesman Farhatullah Babar while giving details of the meeting.
He recalled that the president had taken serious notice of the difficulties faced by the pensioners in collecting their monthly pensions and had directed Nadra to design an Automated Pension Disbursement System that would integrate with the existing pension disbursement network to facilitate pensioners across the country.
The spokesman said the president had directed Nadra to consider making biometric Smart Cards to the pensioners so that they could draw their pension from any biometric enabled ATM of any bank and the e-Sahulat centres and are saved from the botheration of long queues and inordinate delays.
Nadra chief briefed the meeting about an automation mechanism and the outreach of Nadra’s program, in which the current pension system would be automated and the disbursement network would be extended by transforming bank braches, post offices and e-Sahulat franchisees into Nadra’s Pension Disbursement Outlets.
The meeting was apprised that nearly 6,000 e-Sahulat franchisees and 9,000 banks branches in various parts of the country would be used for disbursement of the pensions besides postal offices.
According to the proposed system of pension disbursement, Nadra will ensure completion of enrolment and issuance of Smart National Identity Cards to National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) pensioners by December, 31 and the disbursements of pensions would start with effect from January 2013.
The enrolment process for the other pensioners would commence from January 2013 and would be completed by 30th April 2013 and pension disbursement would start May.
The proposed programme envisaged on the introduction of biometrics system to eliminate duplicates as the system ensures one card per person which would also help eliminate ghost employees and claims against dead recipients.
“The automation would ensure efficiency and real-time transaction processing with transparency. The Smart Card system would also provide mobility by deploying mobile infrastructure to reach the recipients,” he said.
The President also directed the committee to complete its deliberations at the earliest to as to finalize the program and provide relief to the pensioners.
Finance Minister Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh was also present in the meeting.