Transgender persons included in Benazir income support programme

Published January 30, 2023
Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Shazia Marri speaks at a programme held at the Arts Council, Karachi on Sunday. — Picture courtesy: Shazia Marri/Twitter
Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Shazia Marri speaks at a programme held at the Arts Council, Karachi on Sunday. — Picture courtesy: Shazia Marri/Twitter

KARACHI: Federal Minister for Poverty Alleviation and Social Safety Shazia Marri said on Sunday that transgender community was being formally included in the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).

Speaking at a programme held at the Arts Council, she said that the transgender persons belonged to a poor segment of society and they were facing economic and societal challenges in the country.

The event kicked off with the start of a documentary and how transgender persons are discriminated in Pakistan.

Ms Marri, who is also the chairperson of BISP, said: “This is the beginning of pluralistic Pakistan. A marginalised group is given rights in the income support program for the first time in the history of Pakistan.”

She said that they were ignored in our society and transgender persons also avoided to come forward before authorities due to society’s behaviour towards them.

Ms Marri said that their registration with the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra) was mandatory for availing BISP financial support.

She said that the transgender persons should register themselves with Nadra and then visit a BISP centre for further process so that they could get Rs7,000 quarterly financial assistance.

She said that initially three transgender persons got themselves registered with the BISP.

She said that a total of 900,000 families across the country were being financially supported by the BISP and the spirit of the programme was to support the poor people.

She also handed over Rs7,000 each to the three registered transgender persons.

Later, talking to newsmen she said that the federal government would try its best to not have an effect of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement on the poor people of the country as no one was in favour of taking loans.

She said that the priorities of the country would be on top in talks with the IMF.

Condemning the allegations of former prime minister Imran Khan against former president Asif Ali Zardari, she said that the PTI chairman always issued irresponsible statements.

Published in Dawn, January 30th, 2023

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